There is no doubt that living with persistent pain is difficult, and there is no doubt that living with pain increases the chances of you becoming depressed, and possibly anxious.  How could it possibly not do?  I was very fortunate that I didn’t become clinically depressed during my pain journey, but I must have been close at times, and I fully understand how it happens.   Although the risks of becoming depressed or anxious are increased if you have persistent pain it is worth noting that around 74% of people with persistent pain are NOT depressed or anxious so if you have recently been diagnosed with persistent pain please do not see depression or anxiety as an inevitable consequence.  If you do become depressed and/or anxious I would urge you to seek support; there is support out there.



There are many ways to support and improve your mental wellbeing and I would definitely recommend anyone living with persistent pain to actively do so.  It can be emotionally difficult to live with pain, so working to improve your overall mental health and wellbeing is definitely worthwhile. 



Whilst going through my pain journey I felt it important to have both a basic understanding of depression and anxiety, in particular an understanding of the symptoms and how to access help if required, and an understanding of how best to support my mental health. 


I hope the resources I have listed below will support everyone who has persistent pain.  

Emotions and mental health warning signs


Persistent pain and depression statistics

0 %
of people in the UK will be experiencing a persistent pain problem
non visible
0 %
of the general population have depression, some with anxiety
sciatica stats
0 %
of people living with persistent pain have depression, some mixed with anxiety
Approximate numbers
0 %
of people in the UK will be experiencing a mental health problem
back stats
0 %
of people without persistent pain have depression, some mixed with anxiety

Although these figures are approximate, they do provide a rough guide to how many people with persistent pain might also have depression, sometimes mixed with anxiety. 


Approximately 16% of people with persistent pain have depression, some mixed with anxiety, as opposed to 7% of people without persistent pain. 


Although 16% is high it is perhaps not as high as many people might think.  It means that approximately 74% of people living with persistent pain do NOT have depression. 

I had a black dog

More about depression


What is the difference between stress and anxiety?

More about anxiety

Click on the pictures to learn more about each strand

1. Embrace the 'new you'

2. Understand pain

3. Understand YOUR pain

4. Know your pain triggers

5. Make plans, set goals

6. Pace yourself

7. Track your progress

8. Improve your sleep

9. Manage health conditions

10. Move and exercise

11. Improve your nutrition

12. Support your mental health

13. Relax and be mindful

14. Do things you enjoy

15. Attend to life stressors

16. Access clinician support

17. Ask for, and accept help

18. Help others understand

19. Review medications

20. Make adaptations, use aids

21. Return to work / education

22. Engage and socialise

23. Volunteer / help others

24. Explore resources

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