Tag Archives: medical care

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

Life with chronic or long-term pain is difficult and the depression that can accompany long-term pain makes it even worse. “Depression magnifies pain. It makes everyday living more difficult.”[1] Pain is considered chronic or long-term when it lasts beyond what would be expected from the original injury. This kind of pain can cause low energy, depression, and unusually high levels of stress hormones.[2]

Chronic pain can also disrupt sleep and make you more sensitive to other pain. You may even start to hurt in areas that used to feel fine. According to the American Pain Foundation, research shows that around 32 million people in the United States report pain that has lasted for a year or more – that means that one in ten Americans report chronic or long-term pain. Between 25 and 50% of those who talk to their doctors about long-term pain are clinically depressed.[3]

“People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms — usually mood or anxiety disorders — and depressed patients have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain.”[4]

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

“Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. If you have pain, you may also have anxiety, irritability, and agitation. These are normal feelings when you’re hurting. Usually, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response. But with chronic pain, you may feel constantly tense and stressed. Over time, the stress can result in different emotional problems associated with depression. Some of the problems individuals with both chronic pain and depression have include:”

  • Altered mood
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Family stress
  • Fatigue
  • Fear of injury
  • Financial concerns
  • Physical deconditioning
  • Reduced sexual interest and activity
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Social isolation
  • Weight gain or loss[5]

“Researchers once thought the relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.”[6]

The combination of depression and pain is reflected in the circuitry of the nervous system. Pain goes both ways between the body and the brain. Normally, the brain interrupts the signals of physical discomfort so that we can function. When this shutoff valve is broken, physical sensations, including pain, are more likely to become the center of attention. The pathways of the brain that handle pain, including the brain’s center of emotion, use some of the same pathways for regulating mood. When regulation fails, pain is intensified along with sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. And chronic pain, like chronic depression, can alter the functioning of the nervous system and make itself worse in a continuing cycle.[7]

From a common-sense view point, “’we know that simply having a bad headache or back pain for a day can affect our mood. Imagine having that pain every day for six months. It’s actually quite reasonable to expect anxiety and depression with chronic pain,’ says pain management specialist Hersimren Basi, MD.”[8]

If you have pain and depression because of an injury as the result of a someone else’s negligence, see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of negligence. Our initial consultations are always free.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

[1] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[2] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[3] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[4] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[5] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-pain-anxiety-depression-connection

[7] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[8] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/08/why-chronic-pain-brings-you-down-how-to-feel-better/

Understanding Medical Tests

Part of our job as personal injury attorneys is to understand an injured victim’s medical records.  It’s important to know what certain tests show in order to best advocate for an injured party.

Quad Cities Injury Lawyers Blog has a good tip.  Simply check out You Tube.   I’ve used RXlist.com to better understand medications that client’s take.  I’ve used Medicinenet.com for a written description of procedures and tests.   So, why not use You Tube for a video of the same thing.  It’s pretty impressive.  I can’t vouch for the accuracy but after reading about a procedure or test you can tell if what you are seeing is, in fact, the proper procedure/test.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West Allis, Janesville,  Plymouth,  and Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

Time part two

I previously wrote a post ending with a question for the blogosphere.  The general question concerned the remedies involved when a hospital destroys medical records before the mandated 5 year holding period.  Well, Michael Brown of Peterson, Berk and Cross emailed me with an answer:

A provider’s destruction of medical records would also violate HIPAA federal privacy law. Your client could file a HIPAA complaint to Dept of Health and Human services, but the best that will yield is a slap on the wrist to the provider, with no civil claim or damages.

If the records were destroyed at a time the provider should have reasonably contemplated litigation would occur (e.g. if a hospital destroys records of a patient who suffered injuries during a medical procedure and is likely to file a malpractice claim), there may be spoilage law that applies. In the federal context, you can check out the landmark Zubulake cases, which set forth serious standards and penalties for document retention. Keyciting the Zubulake cases may lead you to influential State law cases concerning spoilage.

Thanks for the answer Mike.  I think there should be more someone could do when their medical records are lost or destroyed.  Any legislators out there that can help us out?

www.jonpgroth.com

 

 

 

Wash ’em.

This is a very troubling story I found at the Wall Street Journal

In short, an infection caused by the superbug C diff. is wreaking havoc on patients at hospitals. 

The WSJ has a good run down about how this infection is caused and what hospitals are doing to stop its spread.

One of the most basic ways is to wash your hands with antibacterial soap andn water not alcohol based gels.  Read the article and be an advocate for your health if you go to the doctor.

Time is (Not) On My Side

I talked with one of my favorite clients today.  At the end of our talk she said, “I have a professional question.”  That’s when a lawyers ears perk up and you try to remember every class you ever took in law school.  Who knows what topic is going to be discussed.

She asked about medical records.  Her records were destroyed.  She had the same primary doctor for years.  That general practitioner retired.  Her medical records were sent to another medical facility for ‘safe keeping.’  Well, they weren’t that safe because the facility destroyed them.

According to Wisconsin Administrative Code medical records must be “preserved” and “maintained” for at least 5 years.  (See HFS 124.14(2)c)). But, what happens if the records are destroyed! 

I’ll let you know the answer after I do a little research.  If you know, please post a comment!

Thank you.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Sheboygan, Slinger, Pleasant Prairie and Wauwatosa.