Exaggerated Physical Pain Because of Bipolar Depression
I have mentioned several times that bipolar depression isn’t just mental, depression involves physical pain too. And when I talk about the physical pain of depression, I mean idiopathic pain (pain that appears “without reason” (with the reason, of course, being bipolar depression)). But there’s another part of pain that is a part of depression and that’s real, physical pain that has been exaggerated by the depression.
Physical Pain Hurts
I’ve been putting together a kitchen island. What I can say about it is this: never put together a kitchen island (unless you are skilled tradesperson). It was lunacy to do it and it has been nothing but a headache.
But I digress. The point is, my body is in pain from all the banging and screwing of island-building. And this physical pain is normal. It’s muscle pain that just happens when you exert yourself in uncommon ways.
Physical Pain Can be Exaggerated by Bipolar Depression
The thing is, this physical pain hurts more than it should. This physical pain has been exaggerated by my currently nasty depression. I know that every muscle in my body shouldn’t be hurting just because of the tasks I have completed lately. And I certainly know they shouldn’t be hurting to the degree than they currently are. I guess I was in pain before I started so it only stands to reason that I would be in considerably more pain after exertion. I feel like I’ve run a marathon.
The Physical Pain of Depression Sucks
The physical pain of a nasty depression, on any given day, can make me not want to move from the couch, but the exaggerated physical pain that I feel now makes me not want to move from a prone position even to sit up. Really, it’s nigh-on ridiculous.
And, of course, on top of this is the exaggerated depression fatigue. I was tired before and now I’m downright knackered no matter how much sleep I get (during the night or otherwise). I feel like I’ve actually become part of my couch.
People Don’t Understand Physical Pain and Bipolar Depression
My truly close loved ones sort of get the idea of physical pain and depression after I explained bipolar disorder to them, but there is still lingering confusion How can a mental illness cause physical pain? How can a problem in your brain exaggerate the pain being felt in your muscles?
I don’t know. It just can.
And maybe if I didn’t live it, I wouldn’t “get” it either, but I do, so it’s oh so painfully clear to me. It makes me feel like mental illnesses aren’t just chronic conditions, they’re actually chronic pain conditions.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.