The Relationship Between Pain and Mental Health

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Physical pain and mental health may have a close relationship. Understanding this relationship is important in mental health recovery. Learn more in HealthyPlace

The Relationship Between Pain and Mental Health

Physical pain and mental health have a rather intimate relationship. (Mental Illness Means Physical Pain, Too) There's a complex dance between pain and mental health that can trip us up and leave us lying, seemingly helpless, on the dance floor. Mental health disorders frequently have not just emotional and behavioral symptoms but physical ones, too. Depression symptoms include physical pain. Anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are also among the many mental illnesses that include physical symptoms. Mental illness can cause physical pain.

Pain Can Cause Mental Health Problems

Further, it's not uncommon for physical illnesses, especially chronic ones, to lead to mental health disorders. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, rheumatoid- or osteoarthritis, cancer, and more cause ongoing pain in one or more areas of the body. This type of unrelenting pain can wear on us both physically and emotionally. Physical pain can be so all-encompassing that it contributes to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. (Chronic Pain and Illness: Breeding Grounds for Depression)

We humans can experience pain in many ways, and it can be discouraging when mental pain and physical pain contribute to each other. Once we're aware of this relationship, we can attend to all of our symptoms, our whole being. Because of the relationship between pain and mental health, attending to the whole self can help heal the whole self.

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: What do you do to ease the mix of physical pain and mental health difficulties? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Schizophrenia and What a Psychotic Episode is Like
  2. Loving Someone with a Mental Illness
  3. Sadness vs. Depression: What’s the Difference?

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From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, January 20). The Relationship Between Pain and Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Last Updated: January 9, 2024

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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