Acid Reflux: A Depressing ProblemPosted: Dec 12 in Lifestyle & Behavior by Staff
Any condition that causes chronic pain can be depressing, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is no exception. If you struggle with frequent bouts of heartburn and acid reflux in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, the conditions can elicit an emotional response as well as a physical one. When heartburn and acid reflux continually cause us discomfort, or when they come back after we believe them to be resolved, it can have a serious influence on our moods, thoughts and behaviors.
Those dealing with chronic pain are three times more likely to develop a psychiatric issue like depression than the average person, but those suffering from depression are also three times more likely to develop some form of chronic pain. High levels of stress are also known to impact the digestive system and potentially worsen acid reflux. Because heartburn and mood can influence one another so directly, dealing with acid reflux and depression simultaneously can result in a vicious cycle that makes both conditions worse.
Some patients who suffer from these chronic conditions may take solace in knowing that reflux surgery can provide an effective solution to GERD, but others might desire some help keeping depression in check as they work to manage acid reflux symptoms.
Dealing with chronic acid reflux can be frustrating, but you don’t have to let it bring you down. To boost your spirits as you deal with acid reflux and heartburn in Atlanta, Albany or Macon, use these tips:
- Don’t retreat from society. Acid reflux can make you feel isolated, especially when the pain makes it hard to leave the house. However, withdrawing from your friends and family will only make things worse. Being around others can be a big help in alleviating depression, while talking to those you love about the conditions you’re dealing with can help you find the support you need to press on through difficult circumstances. Socializing with infectiously positive people can be especially influential.
- Take time to relax. When you feel constantly rushed because heartburn and reflux slow you down, it can make your situation seem overwhelming and make it harder to care for yourself. Be sure to give yourself time to relax. Do your best to get a full eight hours of sleep and experiment with different relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation or yoga. You should also try to make time for the things you enjoy doing the most—visit your favorite museum or park, or engage in hobbies like music, art, writing or sports. Even if you don’t feel much like doing these things, pushing yourself to do fun activities can help you feel more upbeat.
Acid reflux and depression are trouble enough on their own, but the two combined can make it much more complicated to find relief. What has helped you deal with depression and acid reflux in Atlanta, Albany or Macon? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.