TMD, especially in severe cases, can absolutely cause severe depression, and anxiety....this is mainly caused by nervous system sensitization....Where the nervous system goes into overload to try and compensate for being in chronic pain. Symptoms like light sensitivity, anxiety, heart palpitations, IBS, sensitivity to loud noises, etc. , you get the picture. I have had it all, and then some. Now that I am in tmd treatment, most of the really bad symptoms have gotten much better, but I am a 20yr. sufferer, so to some extent, I will never be 100%. I've come a long way though...
Yes, it can cause depression...but I suggest focus on the can, can does NOT mean will. I am a 30+ year TMJD patient. I was hit by a car at a young age, made a mess of my jaw and lost hearing on the left side. I have been thru 2 sets of braces, wisdom teeth removed, countless crowns-ect. I have had a open joint surgery. Arthritic, Osteonecrosis, meniscus degenrated, severe deformity of condyles...get the picture--big mess! Neuropathic pain during times of inflammation. I am awaiting a Joint Replacement.
The point I want to make is that many people live their life worried about what COULD happen and forget to live their life. Do what you can, educate yourself, focus on the good things in life. I will take TMJD over Cancer anyday. It stinks yes, but there are great meds and treatment plans that can help. If your start to feel blue, go on a walk, call a friend, say a prayer.....:]
I never implied that everyone with chronic pain WILL get depression, and everyone's case is very different, to some extent. The way people perceive pain, and cope with it is also very different from person to person. Yes, you need to focus on the positive always, but sometimes that is very hard for someone who has lost so much from TMD. I would take cancer any day of the week instead of tmd. They know (for the most part) how to treat cancer early on, and be successful at it. With TMD, there are so many grey areas, and BAD dentists and doctors that will steer you in the wrong direction, it's mindboggling. I applaud your courage to stay positive in the face of massive pain and health problems, but it's so much more complicated than just saying "stay positive". It's a life or death battle for some people, that can bring you down to your knees. Yes, I agree that support from friends and family is KEY in getting through it. Having a great doctor is half the battle. (and lots of $$
Look at any tmj specialists website, and they list depression as one of their top symptoms usually. Also, look up chronic myofascial pain syndrome, or chronic pain associated with tmd. I'm sure you could find something in either of those avenues. Good luck!