The Link Between Chronic Pain and Depression in Seniors

Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common problems reported by people over the age of 65. Unsurprisingly, many people suffer from both conditions at the same time. Often, the development of chronic pain can actually lead to depression — and vice versa.

Chronic Pain

The likelihood of persistent pain increases with age. This is due to all manner of different causes, including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Low back pain
  • Injury
  • Neuropathic pain

Importantly, the experience of persistent pain is a general mental health stressor. It taxes the mind to constantly be experiencing pain, which can lead to other mental health concerns. It can also interfere with practices that are mentally beneficial, such as sleep and exercise.


Depression is an increasing problem among people over the age of 65. Again, there are several different factors that can lead to depression, including:

  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Physical illness

Depression has several consequences of its own and can cause people to pull away from others and experience chronic fatigue and feelings of hopelessness.

How Pain and Depression Are Interconnected

Pain and depression can both lead to older adults feeling as though they don’t have the capacity to participate in everyday life and activities, which can cause them to develop symptoms of the other condition.

For example, a person with chronic knee pain may turn down the opportunity to go on a walk with their friends or family. By missing this activity, they can begin to feel sad, isolated, and alone. These feelings, if they persist for a significant amount of time, can contribute to a diagnosis of depression in the future.

Similarly, a person who is depressed may turn down the walk with their friends and family. By doing so, they miss the chance to exercise and strengthen their body. They may eventually be more vulnerable to injuries and illnesses that can lead to chronic pain.

Treating Pain and Depression at a Jacksonville, Florida, Assisted Living Facility

One way to ensure that chronic pain and depression are dealt with is to join a Jacksonville, Florida, assisted living facility

Assisted living facilities in Jacksonville help older adults stay active both physically and mentally and can provide additional support when seniors need it most. In this way, the symptoms of both chronic pain and depression can be minimized, and seniors can live long and fulfilling lives.

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