Here is another example of the great fun that is my life:
So, as most of you know, I have dealt with depression for a long time. "Officially" (with diagnosis) for about 10 yrs, unofficially for much much longer. I know from many years experience that, for me personally, medication is the most effective treatment for my depression. It allows me to feel normal, most of the time (I really don't want to start a conversation on the most appropriate treatment for depression - just hear me out and listen to me vent).
The interesting thing (from what I've read) is that the centers in the brain that deal with emotional pain (depression) also deal with physical pain, so much so that one can trigger or aggravate the other and they can play this nice game of circling round each other and blaming each other and chasing each other's tails. You know those Cymbalta commercials, "Depression Hurts"? That's because depression can actually cause physical pain (but according to my Drs, this is usually a diffuse or vague pain, achiness etc - NOT usually a distinct pain pattern along a nerve route that fits a specific disorder, such as my trigeminal neuragia. Just in case you were wondering.;). The flip side is, of course, that physical pain can cause, or aggravate, depression. Not only do you have the obvious loss of meaningful and pleasurable activities, and adjusting to a new kind of life, and fear of what the future holds, guilt for not being able to do as much, fatigue and other fun side effects from meds, etc etc etc - but biologically, the center that lights up and says "holy crap our body hurts!" also flips the nearby switch that says "oh crap now we're dealing with depression too." And then feeling depressed also makes it so much harder to cope and deal with the pain. The perception of pain is intricately subjective and entirely individual. You could subject 2 people to the exact same pain and they would perceive it, and feel it completely differently. And how we "feel" plays into how we feel. Things really do hurt more when we feel vulnerable, alone, discouraged, and hopeless.
So then, here we are. As the pain continued for months and months . . . and months, I began to notice that my meds for depression just didn't seem to be cutting it, even though I'd been feeling rather stable and well for a couple yrs before this developed. And frankly, I needed to be feeling a bit uh, perkier to even begin to feel like I could cope with the stress of constant Dr appts and tests and the normal life of 4 kids while being in pain all the freaking time. So I saw my Dr and we increased my dose. So far so good. Not sure it helped a lot, but I still held a lot of hope for finding a solution soon to the pain.
Then more time went on and I continued to feel like, oh my goodness I could deal with this constant pain-that-may-never-go-away perhaps just a little better if I weren't already depressed. And now my Dr tells me that we just need to wait and get my pain under control and that will help my depression. He won't increase my dose. Yet. And so I'm stuck in another circle. Feel like I can't cope very well with the pain on top of depression, can't get help for the depression until the pain is well controlled. The meds for the pain take a really long time to even begin to help, in the meantime I have nothing to help me deal with it. Not dealing well with it makes it hurt even more. Hurting physically makes me feel even worse. Feeling worse makes me hurt more physically. Umm . . .