Chronic Pain: The Loss of a Smile
If you are living with chronic pain, whether from arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain or another cause, most likely your self perception has changed. Chronic pain may cause you to fear for the future. This is a typical response when you learn you have a disease that causes persistent pain.
Pain Threshold Facts
Chronic pain is different than acute pain resulting from a minor injury, because it is persistent.
These are some facts you should know about chronic pain. People have different pain tolerances. Chronic pain occurs more frequently in woman than men. Mood changes also affect pain. As an example, you may read a funny story, which temporally relieves your pain. The genetic difference between people will impact their perception of pain. As an example, redheads tend to have a lower pain tolerance.
Emotional Impact of Chronic Pain
Your emotional response to pain will affect the intensity of your discomfort. It is not uncommon to feel guilty, because pain does change your lifestyle and limits your activities. Arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis are examples of diseases that cause these limitations. Chronic pain can lower your self confidence and self esteem. Walking with a cane or with a limp may cause you to be embarrassed. Many people want to conceal their disease as long as possible. You may ask, why me? Becoming frustrated and angry is also another typical response to chronic pain.
Sadness is common, while depression is more serious. You may need to seek out professional help if depression lasts. Hopelessness is self-destructive; get help. Mourning the realization that your life has forever changed is difficult for almost anyone. Typically, people living with chronic pain will go through a pattern referred to as the “Cycle of Acceptance,” which includes; grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, a testing stage and finally acceptance.
Coping Methods for Chronic Pain Sufferers
Of course, chronic pain does impact your relationship with your partner, your family and at work. Family and friend support is extremely important. Changing your perspective to one of coping and acceptance will benefit you in several ways. A positive attitude will assist you in adjusting to your new life restrictions. Be involved with your doctor, and participate in the decisions for your care. This will help alleviate your sense of powerlessness.
Meditation, relaxation therapy, yoga, self-hypnosis or biofeedback training may help alleviate the intensity of your pain. A Pain Management program is another option. Stay as active as possible. Try to develop new interests and hobbies that fit into your new way of life. Ask for help when you need it and get enough rest. Learning to manage chronic pain will make you happier and make your life much more tolerable.
Austin, Texas has been Peter Wendt’s writing headquarters for a number of years now. For readers who wish to learn more about this subject, he recommends they check out www.austinpaindoctor.com.