Selena Gomez – Chronic Pain and Mental Health

Chronic pain is a condition characterised by pain that lasts longer than three to six months.

Chronic Pain affects 13-50% of adults in the UK.

Pain is a necessary part of life. In the case of a physical injury, pain receptors send signals to the brain to take action and tend to the injury. Chronic pain is a condition where the body sends constant pain signals to the brain even after an injury has healed, or not even taken place.

Back in 2016, after taking three months off from social media and seeking treatment for anxiety, panic attacks and depression, Selena Gomez – who also suffers from lupus – returned to the public eye with an emotional speech at the American Music Awards.

“I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I had to stop, because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside.”

It is common for people who have autoimmune diseases such as Lupus to experience chronic pain, depression and anxiety. People with chronic pain sustained from a physical injury or an age or disease-related condition may find that it can affect their sense of optimism. They may feel frustrated and trapped and have a hard time feeling optimistic or hopeful and instead choose to shy away from social gatherings. It is also common for people to hide and mask their pain from family and work colleagues for various different reasons.

Depression, anxiety, and negative thoughts about pain are not only related to developing chronic pain but it also increases the likelihood of someone experiencing worse symptoms because of it.

Mental health problems can amplify pain and can make the symptoms even worse. This can include depression and generalised anxiety.

Effective and open communication is a crucial part of pain management and minimising the adverse effects of this condition. If you feel like you are affected by any of the content above, please reach out to You in Mind. We are here for you, sometimes the first step to recovery is through talking about what is affecting you. You in mind is a holistic service from Carlisle Eden Mind that believes in alternatives to crisis. You do not have to suffer alone.

Types of chronic pain:

1. Inflammatory pain

Inflammatory pain is characterised by a spontaneous hypersensitivity to pain occurring due to tissue damage and inflammation. Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation lasts for a couple of hours or days. However, chronic inflammation lasts for months or even years. Some of the conditions of inflammatory pain are:

  • Cancer
  • Heart conditions
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes

2. Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is characterised by damage or injury to the nerves that process information between the brain and the other parts of the body. The pain is described as a burning sensation in the affected areas. This type of pain includes:

  • Peripheral neuropathic pain as the case post-herpetic neuralgia or diabetic neuropathy
  • Central neuropathic pain

3. Nociceptive pain

This type of pain is characterised by the pain caused from tissue injuries such as burns, bruises, or sprains. It is a common type of pain and is usually triggered by inflammation, chemicals, or physical injuries. For instance, if you have ever fell over on Astro turf and burnt the skin off of your knees.

4. Musculoskeletal pain

Musculoskeletal pain is characterised by the pain caused in the bones, muscles and joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. This pain can be located in one area of the body such as back pain. Some of the most common musculoskeletal pain conditions are:

  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia
  • Fractures or dislocations
  • Scoliosis

5. Psychogenic pain

Psychogenic pain is a form of physical pain caused by mental, emotional, or behavioural factors. This condition is usually induced by social rejection, grief, broken heart, or any other extreme emotional life event. Some of the most common psychogenic pain are:

  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain

6. Mechanical pain

Mechanical pain is any type of back pain characterised by placing abnormal stress and strain on muscles of the vertebra. This pain can occur as a result of bad habits such as poor posture, or lifting something heavy incorrectly.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown. It usually begins with an injury or a condition. These may include:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Other bone joint problems
  • Cancer
  • Broken bones
  • Surgery
  • Lyme disease
  • Nerve damage
  • IBS
  • Fibromyalgia (condition that causes musculoskeletal pain throughout the body)
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-trauma pain

Everyone experiences chronic pain differently.

There is no cure for Chronic Pain. However, with therapy and medications, it is possible to manage and relieve your symptoms. Here is a list of the multiple methods used to treat chronic pain.

1. Lifestyle Changes

There is no cure for chronic pain. However, some lifestyle changes may help in easing the pain. They are as follows:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Art therapy
  • Regular exercise
  • Music therapy
  • Massage

2. Medications

3. Therapy

Therapy can be used to treat the underlying conditions associated with chronic pain. It is used to address the conditions related to emotions, feelings or responses. Some of the treatment methods include:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Group counselling
  • Occupational Therapy

4. Physical therapy

5. Non-pharmacological treatment

Some of the non-pharmacological treatment includes:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ultrasound stimulation
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Chiropractic

6. Interventional Techniques

Interventional techniques can also be used to treat chronic pain. Some of these options include:

  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Nerve blockers
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Radiofrequency nerve ablations
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Trigger point injections
  • Intrathecal pain

Ask yourself these several questions and think about your answers.

  • Is your pain affecting your life and work?
  • Do you have trouble focusing on daily tasks because of the pain?
  • Do you feel unmotivated and tired a lot of the time?
  • Would you like to talk to someone about this?

A word from You in mind:

If you feel like you are affected by any of this content, and if you answered yes to the questions above, please reach out to us. You in Mind is a holistic mental health service from Carlisle Eden Mind that believes in alternatives to crisis. If you are currently experiencing mental ill-health because of a chronic pain problem or you can feel it worsening. Maybe you would like to talk to someone about this and explore your options, please get in touch. Details below. We’d like to leave you with words of encouragement from Selena Gomez.

Making a referral to You in Mind:

To make a referral to You in Mind please can you download complete a referral form and then send the form to or ring 01228-370633.