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Long term pain and depression!

Hi, I'm brand new on here and leaving my first post. I've had back, neck and shoulder pain now for 17 years. Lotsa meds, all the typical methods, no surgery has ever been an option. I'm with a very large, do-nothing insurance provider. My problem is my depression. It's really gotten worse in the last year or two. As I suffer from the moment I sit up in bed to the moment I go to bed, I'm in a lot of pain. My wife who's heard it all before has grown cold to my needs of her sympathy and compassion. And of course, this leads to greater depression which I already have in spades! She can barely muster up a ''how're you doing today?'' and this is because I've told her that I NEED her to at least ask and show she cares! We've talked about this so much and she just doesn't get the need I have for a little verbal compassion and sympathy. Am I mental here, or is she the one who's missing this human element? 40 yrs. married, and I've even told her that I can't go on in such a marriage like this, but who wants this tired old man now? I hope I get some comments from ya'll out there. Thanks for listening!



  • Welcome BADNECKPAIN we’re glad you’re here!

    There are a lot of us here that understand what you are going through and your feelings, one thing to remember with your wife is that if a person has never felt the pain, it's really hard for them to fully understand what you are going through, think about it like this, you see someone with a broken leg, you know it hurts, but if you have never had a broken leg, you really don't know how bad it hurts. We have several members that have pain phsycologist and have good success with them, that might be something to check into.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read through our Chronic Pain Resources on Spine-health? You’ll find a number of valuable Chronic Pain Coping Techniques and resources for Understanding Neuropathy Symptoms. It’s a comprehensive resource for those seeking more information about chronic pain. I hope you find these resources helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Badneckpain....I think most chronic pain people struggle with depression. I am sorry your spouse doesn’t quite get it. Sometimes I think the depression adds to the pain and the pain increases depression. The reason I sought out this web site was to find people like me who deal with daily pain. My family knows but since it is a daily issue it seems they forget. I take an antidepressant which helps but there are those days and sometimes weeks that I can’t seem to pull myself out of the depression fog. I hope things get better.Search around the forums here. It helps me when I can write something encouraging for someone else.Keep posting,you are not alone. Nancyann 

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  • Thank you Nancyann! This is the blog I'm hoping to get a little understanding on. She's tired of hearing about it, tired of dealing with it even tho her involvement with me emotionally is almost nothing. Thanks again for the comeback!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713


    Chronic pain and depression go hand in hand. I have fought that battle for years. At first, my husband did not understand how much pain I was in and how bad it was. How could he? But after he started going to the doctors and hearing what they had to say, seeing all of the diagnostic test, he started understanding. I started seeing  pain psychologist about 4 yrs. ago which has been a life changer. I have learned how to deal with the depression and the pain without taking medication for it.

    My husband does not ask me every day how I am doing and I don't expect it. He knows, he can see it. But if you need that reassurance from your wife, talk to her about going to the doctor with you. Maybe then she would understand why you are in so much pain. 

    This forum is a great place for you to get support and talk to other members. We all come here and whine and cry and it's ok.
    Take care and keep us posted.
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Thank you! I hate to even say this, but in 17 years of my pain issues, she's been to many Dr. appts with me and heard what they say about the legitimacy of my problems. She's not an emotional woman so I think it manifests itself this way. It's awkward for her to ask how I 'm doing or how I'm feeling! Hard to believe right? 40 plus years of marriage we've talked about this for almost half our years together! I'm here on this blog seeking answers and friends in the pain community!

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    We can definitely relate to your pain but we cannot fix your marriage. Have you thought about going to counseling? 40 years is a long time to waste. If you say it is awkward for her to ask you how you are, then why do you want her to? Why make her do something she does not want to do? 

    Today I got up and just did not feel well, body feels like it is in a vice, bad storms are rolling in. So I told my husband I'm not doing anything today, I'm just hurting. Maybe if you tried something like that. Instead of waiting for her ask just tell her how you feel and go on with your day. It doesn't do any good to complain all day anyway.

    Or you can always complain here lol

  • Aldo60AAldo60 Posts: 11
    edited 06/01/2020 - 8:03 AM

    Hi BNP, i confront the same issues with my wife.  I'm  68, married my HS school sweetheart 46 years ago.  Over the many years , i have suffered with various degrees of chronic pain.  But it has really culminated in the past 10 years and has intensified to much misery.  Look at my previous post to Drewski.  Long history of spinal issues and generalized anxiety disorders.  The past 3 years have been the most miserable.  I was complaining daily each and every morning, the first thi g out of my mouth was complaints about the terrible stiffness, and overall poor well being.  The history is long.  But my wife has lost any giving of sympathy .  She is sick of hearing it.  Im SICK OF HEARING AND DEALING  WITH IT.  

    I found that i was Brow Beating her to the point of no avail.  We have Grand children , two wonderful sons , who i complain to as well sotto voce,  so my wife doesnt have to listen to it.  Lumbar and cervical issues are many MANY , making me anxious and depressed.  Try every supplement you can.  Periodic Valium helps , PERIODICALLY, The chronic pain / anxiety cycle can  be severe .  Practice medidation,I enjoy espousing my experiences to this and other blogs. 

    Edited to remove doctors name and advice on supplements 

  • Oh yeah, I would add, that writing this stuff down on paper, helps you mentally.  I'm not good at adding links, but there was a great article written by a Canadian doctor about the Chronic Pain and Related Anxiety cycle.  Google it.  In a quick summary, when spinal disorders of any kind Pinches your spinal cord , it can wreak havoc with your Nervous system.  I have peripheral nerve damage, loss of reflex action and have Fibromyalgia.   It SUCKS, but you must deal with it and seek your own advice and help.  I do take Prozac prescribed by a psychiatrist who consukts with my neuro psychologist.  I am weening off Prozac as my anxiety and panic attacks have subsided.  Im rambling. Sorry.  Moral to the post is try not to complain to your spouse, smile when you can, and dont Brow Beat.  

  • This IS helpful to be on this blog! It's great to hear from others who are much like me, rather than healthy people, like my wife, who have NO clue what the pain is and does to us. MEMERAINBOLT, I have never considered what you said! I'm trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip and there ain't nothing there! I wish I'd have married a compassionate and gentle woman, but of course when you're young, you never think you're going to slow down from pain to the point where you need your wife to be half nurse maid lol! My mom was an RN, so I married a woman so different than bad. Aldo60 your story is much like mine! She HAS told me that I ''brow beat'' her about the no-sympathy thing. I guess many years ago she seemed to care more about my suffering, and now that it's much worse her sympathy has become much less! How I wish it were different! Tell me what the PERIODIC valium works. They won't prescribe me valium anymore because of the opiates I take, but maybe a safer antidepressant would do. I too have fibromyalgia and that certainly compounds the pain and the depression, to the point where I'm SO DANG despondent about my life! I'm 63 and feel and look 83 most days!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    Hey guys, I'm 72 and also have Fibro, scoliosis, DDD, sinal stenosis, 5 herniated disc (which are being held together by a cage and 7 screws), RA and Osteo. Like I said earlier, I have a pain pump that somewhat controls the pain. I do not take oher meds for pain, anxiety or depression. I am disabled to the point I only go to see my PM doctor about 3 mos. for a pump refill. I stay home and do what I can.

    I do not expect my kids or grandkids or even friends to ask me how am I doing. They all know, so why keep telling them.  And having Fibro does not help. You have to ask yourself, what hurts today, the Fibro or arthritis or....., I just know I hurt and keep going. 
    But this is how I handle the pain and depression. I keep doing what I can and enjoy doing. I'm different in that I don't need to be validated that I'm in pain or don't feel good. 

    I hope you have a good day and take care,

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 337

    Badneckpain, you are not alone being married to someone that is disinterested. My wife does not ask how I'm doing and she expects me to do everything I could do before things became so bad. When I sometimes mention that I'm hurting because I did some house maintenance that needed to be done her response is generally "no one ask you to do that!) She does almost nothing around the house. I'm with you about who wants to start over now!

  • Hi Jerome, I'm so sorry to respond so late to your comment! I just saw this, so 2 weeks after the fact. Even as I sit here in terrible pain from a pinched nerve in my neck, I had just walked into the other room to get an ice pack from the fridge. I told her the reason that it, the nerve, was triggered today, and it was from sitting in the dentist chair a couple hours ago and turning my head at weird angles. When this nerve gets triggered it's kinda like a migraine- I just want to be in a dark room, don't expect any conversation or activity from me, and I can't flinch/move about because the pain is right into my brain! Anyway, she barely looked up from her laptop and kinds ''humph...'' or basically, ''so what?'' I guess from reading the responses from others like you, some spouses just have no empathy! And it doesn't matter if I tell them about it, or complain, or appeal to their senses, or try to reason with them, or what! I guess some people just weren't created with EMPATHY! And she just told me that she's perfectly justified in her response...PERFECT! Thanks for listening and thank you for your service!

  • Hi BNP!!! Me waving. ; )

    I can very much relate. I am a long term chronic pain patient, since 2012,when I blew my neck requiring a cervical fusion.

    I have come to realize over the years others that haven't experienced what we go though have no idea. Either people are judgemental re: the medication we need to take, or they just don't understand what we go through regarding pain and suffering.

    I have come to realize that if I want others to really get what I'm going though, I can come here. I have you guys to understand and in turn I can also be supportive.

    Here for you anytime,

    Your friend,


  • Hi Missy, I grew up with a girl with your name in CA a long time ago! Yes, my wife has almost perfect health at 62, and I'm just a mess with my spine issues top to bottom, bad shoulders too. She thinks using this blog is a pretty good idea, and I think it's a way for her to feel less responsible for showing me the compassion I need! Kinda weird, right? I also try to force myself to focus on the good she does for me, rather than what she doesn't do for me. Showing kindness and understanding and a few sweet words almost never happen, so you can imagine how often I go to the negative in my thought life. That's not good for me or her. At least I'm having 2 procedures this week and next, so maybe my pain will be temporarily subdued and I can live with a little less pain for a bit! Thanks for listening Missy and everyone else reading this!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713


    Good luck on your procedures this week. Even if they are temporary, something is better than nothing. I totally understand that any relief, even for a short time, always gives our minds a break.
    Take care,

  • Oh anytime BNP, I'm here for you.

    Best of luck today and I sincerely hope it lessens your pain.

    Update when you are up to it. Take care my friend.


  • Thanks to both you girls! I guess we all understand each other quite well! When a person relies on heavy opiates just to take the edge off the pain, and other things at night to get some sleep, others looks askance at us like we're druggies! I told my pain Dr the other day that there are people in the world that are LEGITIMATE customers for Oxy, etc. and he totally agreed! This was in a convo with him about increasing my daily dose and he cooperated! So good when Drs. see our side of things instead of worrying about their own jobs by over-prescribing the controversial OPIATES! Too bad so many abuse it, but I still need it nonetheless! I'm complaining again haha! And yes, a little relief? For maybe a few months? Yes, I'll take it! 17 long years of chronic pain is a big chunk of my life and a few months or maybe just weeks, is welcome! I'm appreciating this blog more and more, especially when women come on and tell me they GET IT! That is something to be cherished by me because I don't get that at home! OK, almost time to get to the Pain Clinic for procedure #1...until later, Thom

  • Badneckpain, I so get you , except I cop it from my husband. I have live with this horrid pain for over 35 year, the last 9 have been too much to bear after I was rear ended at a red traffic signal. It was about a year after the car accident that He said he will start calling my Mona, so I stopped telling him it hurts. Sometimes it’s so freaking hard to get up from a lounge and not cry through the pain .  Just a couple days ago he said why you limping ? ( he knew very well my feet and one knee have given out and I basically been on crutches)  I just said my feet hurt and hobbled off to get a cuppa. Then he blurts out “ you want sore feet , now you know how I feel” WT? He had plantar fasciitis, I knew it hurt as he bloody well let me know. All I get from him at night is him complaining about every thing that hurts me is hurting him, is pain catchy? We been together for 38 years yesterday. I think now we just live under the same roof. Sometimes it don’t even seem where friends just house mates. I have wonderful kids but I don’t let on to them how I am as they are going through stuff themselves. But I know their there if I need something. This forum is great, I have had some very low times and just to vent here helps. I also have a brilliant osteopath who can relieve some pain even if it’s a little while. He told me yesterday he needs to spend two hours on me to benifit more. I confide in him more than my family. He told me yesterday that I am his patient with the most chronic pain issues. Oh boy I wish I had taken my husband there. Oh well , chin up , sorry this was a long rave . Harpy

  • Badneckpain Hard to believe but my husband turned into a bully since I have chronic pain and stopped working. I can’t wait to get away from him one day. 

    People just don’t understand so you need to talk with someone objective like us but maybe the Dr has some therapy ideas for you like your Pain Dr. I hope you feel better after your procedures.  

    I take an antidepressant as it’s supposed to help chronic pain. And sometimes have to check out the distress websites at times ad it can be overwhelming especially in these times. 

    Hard for family to understand us. But  it’s good to have us as we get it. One day at a time. Charry

  • Thank you Harpy and Charry! Welcome to my blog! I'm sorry to hear that you have marital issues like the rest of us. 2 groups of people here- one is in great pain, the other is not. The friction this creates between us and those we love over the pain is remarkable! We claim we care for each other! I had my cervical steroid injection today, and I guess I feel a little better, but the Dr said most people feel it in about 2 days. I can wait. Next week will be a nerve block/ablation for my lumbar region. I'll let you all know in a couple of days what it truly feels like, good bad or indifferent. Goodnight my chronic pain family! Thom

  • Goodluck with your injection. I have just hade 3 in my neck , left C2/3 , right C3/4 and right C5/6. The left has help greatly. Can’t tell with the other two yet. Also L5/S1 . My osteopath say he will do a few more yet. Hope you sleep well. Harpy 

  • Thanks Harpy!

  • I just had RFA yesterday and already I feel better. But have to ice a lot! Much success I hope. Night

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    Hey guys!!

    Thom, how are you feeling since the injection? I really hope it helps. I am the lucky one here, my husband totally understands and gets it. He never ask "how are you feeling today" because he can see it on my face. I try to do what I can around the house but he is always telling me all I have to do is tell him how he can help me and he will. But if he sees me doing too much, he'll let me know I need to slow down. 

    Everyone have a good weekend, don't do too much and recover well.

  • Well, to my online chronic pain friends, I had the steroid shot into my C4-5 area yesterday, and the main problem was an AWFUL pinched nerve from base of neck to right shoulder. This morn, I think I still feel the nerve, but it's not rearing it's ugly head to torture me yet! I'm protecting it(as always!) by avoiding a lot of head turning and movement in general. I guess full effect takes a day or two so hoping this is REAL and not psychosomatic! Uh...the thought of this procedure not helping is frightening, as I need the relief so bad! How have all of you done with this? I hope to hear from ya'll with the good and the bad! I'll be watching...Thom

  • Hello Thom,

    Glad you got that done and I sincerely hope it gives you some sort of relief. I haven't had it done, so I'm sorry, I am not much help.

    I'm sure others will be able to share their experiences with you.

    Take care my friend. Have a wonderful evening and a restful sleep.


  • Thank you Missy. I need a restful night, like we all do with CP!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713


    After I would have an injection, my doctor always told me to take it easy for a couple of days and let it work. With some of the injections I got immediate relief where others would take a few days. I hope you are getting relief at last.

  • Goodmorning Sandra, starting the day with an ice pack over my neck to shoulder area because as I was making coffee, my little nerve friend stabbed me twice! This is second full day after injection and I hope the signal diminishes...but this sucker is hard to keep down! 2 ablations, a total of 14 acupuncture treatments and now this cortisone shot...and it's still alive and well, only subdued! I'll take it easy again today and hope for the best! Ya'll have a wonderful 4th of July weekend in our great Country!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    Morning Thom!!

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the injection does work. Our grandson and his fiance were supposed to come up last night from Memphis for the weekend until she out yesterday that 4 people she works with tested positive for the virus. With my health conditions, he said it wasn't worth the risk. We are so disappointed but this is the world we now live in.

    Have a great weekend.

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