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Pain is inevitable – suffering is optional! This quote from an unknown source has been going viral on the internet. Some think it’s ridiculous, “Well if that idiot ever had_______ (you fill in the ailment) he’d know how stupid this sounds. Are you saying it is all in my head?” Please hear me out.
In the past it was believed that only the physical factors were seen as causing chronic pain. Today the view of medicine is broadening to also include the psychological and social aspects of one’s life. Major lifestyle changes due to a chronic illness often brings distressing emotions that can lower one’s tolerance for pain causing even more suffering. Understanding and intervening in the psychosocial factors that are affecting your pain perception gives you a choice in how to react to your illness.
What are the some of the psychosocial factors influencing chronic pain/suffering?
- social isolation
- frequent scanning of painful site
- loss of independence
- depression and anxiety (fearfulness and hopelessness)
- inability to work or cut backs at work
- unsatisfying interactions with significant others due to your chronic illness
Our role is to help you sort out the aspects of your life that are contributing to your pain and suffering. You can learn to change the thoughts that are prolonging your discomfort. Take the first step in taking control and regaining your quality of life.