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Managing the Psychological & Emotional Implications of Chronic Pain

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. This post contains an affiliate link.

Whether it’s fibromyalgia, headache, knee twinge, chronic pain persists and for long. For many sufferers, it’s a never-ending journey. According to a 2011 study, at least 100 million Americans suffer from the condition, which is exacerbated by a multitude of factors, including one’s health and emotions by choosing professional help.

While it's often labeled as a physical sensation, chronic pain can have psychological, emotional, and biological implications. Also, it can cause feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. To treat pain efficiently, the suffer should address the emotional and psychological aspects. 
Below we look at some of the most common psychological and emotional implications of chronic pain. 

1. Alcohol Abuse

A significant reason why chronic pain suffers use alcohol to self-medicate pain, apart from the fact that it's easy to obtain, is that they see it as a way to manage stress, and stress and chronic pain are often experienced together. However, alcohol doesn't have any pain-relieving properties. It tricks the central nervous system into believing the pain isn't that bad. However, when sufferers withdraw from alcohol abuse, chronic pain sensitivity often doubles. Sadly, this can cause some people to drink even more.

The best way to deal with this situation is cognitive behavioral therapy, which tells the sufferer that they don’t need alcohol and other substances to manage pain. Mindful meditation might also work to reduce perceived intensity. If the suffer has developed alcoholism, alcohol detox centers can be visited to start the withdrawal process in a safe, home-like environment. Once initial rehab is complete, chronic pain sufferers can continue following a customized recovery program that not only addresses their withdrawal symptoms but also pain-related issues.  

2. Negative Impact on Relationships

Those who don’t suffer from chronic pain have a difficult time bearing and understanding those who do. Because it doesn’t have visible symptoms, other people can’t see that you’re in excruciating pain. Hence, many individuals believe chronic pain sufferers “fake it,” and this can cause further isolation. Isolation, or the experience of it, can cause the sufferer to end all social relationships, not just close ones. Spousal relationships are often negatively affected and not necessarily due to a lack of intimate interest.

In such a scenario, it’s best to surround yourself with people who have dealt with or are currently suffering from chronic pain. Fortunately, support groups are easy to find; you just have to perform a quick search on Google and mention your locality. Starting a blog might also help. A blog allows you to convey your thoughts without human interaction, so it’s the ideal way to stay out of arguments as well as educate people about chronic pain (who knows, those taking it lightly might change their perspective after coming across your voice). 

3. Fatigue/Tiredness

For chronic pain sufferers, "I'm tired" isn't just a simple response. It means much more than "I'm going to sleep." Fatigue for individuals with chronic pain doesn't go away, no matter how much they try. It means being in total exhaustion, and continuously. They'll wake up in a state of tiredness the next day, even if they've slept for 8-10 hours. That means their brain processes things slower, and their physical health suffers.

To combat fatigue, try to improve your brain’s and body’s reaction to it. Listen to relaxing music, perform your favorite activity, try belly breathing for a few minutes, or go out for a walk with your pet. Patients often experience incredible energy improvements when trying out these powerful

By addressing these implications, you’d find it easy to manage chronic pain, as it’ll be the only thing left for you to deal with. 


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