By Emily Tran, PHRC Admin, Westlake Village
Pelvic pain can be a source of significant stress and anxiety for individuals. Living with chronic pelvic pain can often lead to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and even depression. It’s important to recognize the impact pelvic pain can have on mental health. Here are a few ways mental health can affect pelvic pain:
Heightened pain sensitivity- Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can heighten the body’s sensitivity to pain, making existing pelvic pain symptoms feel worse.
Tension in the pelvic muscles- Conditions such as anxiety and stress can cause tension in the pelvic muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.
Decreased pain tolerance- Mental health conditions can also cause people to have a decreased pain tolerance, making pelvic pain feel more intense.
Negative impact on quality of life- Pelvic pain can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, from their ability to engage in everyday activities to their sexual health. Mental health conditions can exacerbate these effects, leading to increased psychological distress.
Difficulty managing pelvic pain symptoms-Managing pelvic pain symptoms can be challenging, particularly when dealing with a mental health condition. Mental health concerns may make it harder to cope with the pain, and the pain, in turn, can worsen the mental health condition, creating a cycle that’s difficult to break.
It’s important for individuals with pelvic pain to prioritize their mental health needs and seek support when needed. By treating both pelvic pain and underlying mental health conditions, individuals can improve their overall quality of life and manage their symptoms more effectively.
Mental Health Statistics:
- One in five adults (approximately 51.5 million) in the United States experience mental illness in a given year (National Institute of Mental Health).
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide (World Health Organization).
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals aged 10-34 in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health).
- Women are more likely than men to experience mental illness (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
- LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers (The Trevor Project).
- Approximately one in eight children in the United States experience a mental health disorder (National Institute of Mental Health).
- Only 43.3% of individuals with mental illness in the United States received treatment in the past year (National Institute of Mental Health).
- Stress affects 77% of adults in the United States (American Institute of Stress).
Mental health is an essential component of our overall well-being. But with the demands of daily life, it can be challenging to prioritize our mental health needs. Here are some strategies for managing your mental well-being:
Practice self-care. Self-care is the act of intentionally taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health needs. Make time for activities that bring you joy, such as reading, hiking, or yoga. Additionally, ensure you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and staying hydrated.
Connect with others. Social support can go a long way in managing mental health. Stay connected with friends and family, join a local support group, or connect with others online. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it, as gathering support can help ease feelings of isolation and improve your overall well-being.
Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions and observe how they impact your behavior. Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and enable you to manage them in a healthy way.
Seek professional help. If you’re experiencing persistent mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, it may be time to seek professional help. Mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists, can provide the guidance and support you need to manage your mental health.
Make time for hobbies and activities. Engaging in hobbies and activities that bring you joy can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health. Activities such as painting, playing music, or cooking can be therapeutic and improve your mental well-being.
Remember, taking care of your mental health is a journey, and it’s essential to seek the support you need. Whether through self-care, social support or professional help, there are many ways to prioritize your mental well-being. By taking small steps, you can begin to navigate your mental health journey with greater ease and confidence.
Mental Health Resources
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)- NAMI is an American organization offering resources, support, and education for individuals living with mental illness.
Mental Health America – Mental Health America provides a wide range of resources, including information on specific diagnoses and conditions, as well as treatment options.
Crisis Text Line- Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 to speak with a trained Crisis Counselor.
BetterHelp- Better Help is an online platform offering affordable therapy and counseling services for individuals who may not have access to traditional mental health care.
SAMHSA National Helpline – SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 information and referral service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England? We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!
Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.
In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page.
Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page.
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