The Psychological Benefits of Pain Management
Pain is distress associated with actual or possible tissue damage. According to the American Pain Society, pain affects more Americans than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease put together.
Normally, pain is differentiated based on its persistence and its impact on an individual’s life. For example, acute pain, which is usually short lasting, serves as an alert to possible injury such as sprained ankle. On the other hand, chronic pain is different and more complex.
The Nature of Chronic Pain
Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is persistent, intractable, and extends beyond the expected time (usually 3-6 months) for tissue healing following an injury or a disease such as arthritis. Chronic Pain signals fire repetitively for extensive periods making it complicated to live a full and active life.
Because of the existing pain, patients may suffer from profound psychological, cognitive, and emotional effects. These effects can cause personality changes, anger, hopelessness, anxiety, and even lead to depression, which can at times make this condition difficult to manage.
How Being in Constant Pain Can Affect You Psychologically
Without proper adaptive coping strategies, chronic pain can wreck havoc on your life. Chronic pain can interfere with your psychology and emotions. Here is how pain affects you psychologically.
- Depression and Mood: Constant pain can cause anger, anxiety, frustration, and depression. Sometimes, these emotions may not be a big deal, but if they persist, proper action should be taken.
- Pain and Work: Chronic pain can lower your motivation to work and interact with others. Such limitations can cause patients to lose their self-esteem and view their pain as a sign of personal defect.
- Less Sleep and Stress: At times, psychological effects of chronic pain can outlast the pain itself causing a major health disorder. For example, an achy hip, or fractured rib can cause you to lose sleep, raising your stress levels.
- Relationships: Chronic pain has no visible symptoms. This makes it hard for other people to see that you are in pain. Because of this, it becomes tough to take care of your kids, contribute financially, or take part in normal family activities. Occasionally, understanding and sexuality can also be affected. This can cause communication breakdowns, resentment, and frustration, particularly if your partner is not supportive of your condition.
- Inability to Focus: Often with chronic pain, it is hard to focus on anything else. For example, individuals with arthritis usually have a hard time sitting because of long-term inflammation and damage to the joints. This makes them loose concentration because of the intensity of the pain.
Progressing and Moving Forward
Chronic pain can damage your career, physical faction, and even your relationships. While it is normal to be distressed about your condition, do not let the pain make you a victim. Take control of the pain. To start with, accept the pain but do not let it take control or impair the ability for you to cope, and improve.
Chronic pain varies from one person to another. With proper and effective treatment, chronic pain can be managed. At Complete Neurological Care, we focus on diagnosis and treatment of pain and other neurological condition including headaches, migraines, neck pain, back pains, and seizure disorders. If you are suffering from chronic pain, contact us today and schedule an appointment.