Ask Us Answers - Depression & Fatigue
First, congratulations on the work that you and your son have already done! Focusing on day-to-day function is the first step to treating chronic pain and it sounds as though you have made some important steps. Fatigue is a very common part of both chronic pain and depression, and your son isn’t alone in his struggles. Each teen is different, but often increasing physical activity on a consistent basis can positively impact both chronic pain and improve mood. Your son will likely benefit from help in breaking the big picture down into smaller goals and tracking his success; this will not only make the goals seem more manageable, but also help him see his progress and give him hope that he's moving in the right direction. If motivation to start an activity plan is low, it often helps to set limits (for example, no access to phone until you complete your daily activity goal). Lastly, in addition to continuing to work with a psychologist, if your son is feeling disconnected socially, he may benefit from connecting with peers who have been through the pain rehabilitation process. The Comfort Ability Peer Advisory Board is a group of teens and young adults that have been in your son’s shoes and can speak from personal experience – check out their stories on the CAP website, ask them questions during our online chats, and watch for their podcast in September 2022. They will definitely help him to see that there is a path forward!