Psychological Term



Pain can bring on depression which can affect the patient in multiple aspects of their life. It is common for the depression to be a secondary symptom of the pain, and by reducing the pain intensity then the depression subsides. Symptomatic depression can be treated in the same way as general depression as it effects the patient in the same way. Symptoms of depression include a change in appetite, fatigue, a sense of worthlessness, sleep problems, loss of motivation, and feeling sad and withdrawing.


Anxiety can affect a patient in quite a physical way from increased heart rate, rapid breathing, perspiration, panic attacks, tightening of the chest, tremors and shaking.


Stress can affect all aspects including emotions, behavior, thinking ability and physical health. No part of the body is immune but because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Stress is a common issue observed in patients with chronic pain and the higher the stress, the higher the pain intensity score.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is common for a patient to experience PTSD and persistent pain as co-morbidities. The patient may fear doctors, dentists, professionals, medical and surgical procedures that can increase pain. In addition, pain can trigger the PTSD and can cause avoidance, nightmares, flash backs, and increased stress and anxiety levels.


Patients seeking stem cell therapy may have an addiction, for example an excessive and frequent consumption of pain medication. A further addiction in pain patients is inappropriate drug use as a method for escape and distraction. The patient begins to self-medicate using alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs such as cocaine and cannabis.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body dysmorphic disorder is preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in his/her physical appearance that are not observable or appear slight to others. At some point during the course of the disorder, the individual has performed repetitive behaviors, for example mirror checking, excessive grooming, skin picking, reassurance seeking behavior and continually comparing his/herself with that of others. This preoccupation can cause significant distress or impairment in the social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. However, preoccupation in this context does not concern body fat or weight.


In terminal disease states and chronic pain there are increased suicidal tendencies. It is important that a suicide risk assessment is performed with these patients.