By Anne Welsh – Founder and CEO Painless Universal
September 14th, 2020.
Pain impacts everyone’s life. When a person deals with chronic or invisible pain this impacts both your physical and mental health. Each person will be impacted differently, and individual circumstances play an important part in how you can mitigate the pain.
The chronic pain cycle is important to understand
The body of a chronic pain sufferer, continually sends stress signals to the brain, leading to a heightened perception of not only the pain itself but also the perceived level of threat. The condition changes the way a brain will process emotion and react to the pain itself. Studies indicate that people with chronic pain experience depression. Sleep is often impacted and when it becomes unsatisfying, feelings of depression, anxiety and pain become more intense. Depression itself can therefore lead to chronic pain. The cycle is very difficult to break.
You can help yourself
Start right now and get outside in nature, take time to find listen to your body or meditate, and connect with family and friends to get a quick boost in lifting your mood.
Depression and anxiety disorders do not just go away so it is important that you treat these disorders as real, treatable conditions that should not be ignored. If you are a chronic pain patient experiencing depression or anxiety, it is important to reach out and to your doctor and find support in your community.
Decisions must be made and priorities set daily depending on the level of pain you are feeling. You see, time, energy, and attention are in limited supply and if you don’t prioritise what you must accomplish each day you will often come away saying you failed in the days’ activity. This can create a downward emotional spiral and loss of self-esteem.
Focus on strengthening relationships. Communication is key when dealing with relationship issues that arise due to chronic illness. Usually how you deal with your partner, children and work are the critical areas that need to be approached. Being transparent is what you can accomplish is important. This may take some doing, especially with invisible illnesses, but don’t give up in this endeavour. The patience you exhibit in tackling issues will be noticed by those around you and hopefully returned in compassion in assistance that will make your life better.
Work relationships can be by taking breaks with their colleagues, keeping open lines of communication with employers and colleagues and where possible remote working. Because chronic pain can limit time on the job, many pain patients are extra efficient when they are at work.