Chronic Pain And Mental Health
Why physical pain can have such an impact on your mental health
Imagine waking up in pain every single day. Think about how horrendous that would make you feel. Imagine the kind of effect it would have on your mood and your general outlook on life.
People with chronic pain have to deal with being in physical agony every day. They also have to deal with other people’s attitudes towards their pain. They are often viewed as lazy, and some people are even rude enough to accuse them of faking their pain.When in fact they wake up every day and sometimes, they wish they hadn’t. Living with chronic pain means that your mental health needs extra attention. You need to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. If you neglect yourself, you could end up with serious mental health issues.
You’re Not Being A Baby
No matter how you feel, what anyone else tells you, you’re not “being a baby about it.” Pain is horrible. Even if you’re in pain temporarily, you feel like shit. So constantly being in pain is going to drag you right down. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you’ve got to push through it or just deal with it. That’s not helpful when even slight physical movement can sometimes be agony.
Don’t Use Alcohol As A Painkiller
We’ve all done it, myself included. But it’s a bad idea. It might help for an hour or so, but that’s about it. It will also give you a terrible nights’ sleep, which will make your mood/mental health even worse.It’s also bad for your physical and mental health long term. It can worsen feelings of depression and lead to liver problems and increase the risk of some cancers.
Don’t Rest Too Much
Laying in bed, or on the couch for too long can lead to increased pain and stiffness. It can also make your bones weaker and your mental health worse. Very gentle exercise will help alleviate some tension. I know how hard it is to get motivated when you’re in pain. But even starting with 5 minutes per day and working up can really make a difference. Don’t do any weight-bearing exercise without instructions from your doctor. You could make your situation a lot worse.
Take Your Pills If You Need Them
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for taking painkillers. You’ve been prescribed them for a reason. And as long as you’re using them responsibly, then there shouldn’t be a problem.
“Slow Progress Is Better Than No Progress” Anonymous
Keep Talking To Your Doctor
Whether it’s to check up and re-evaluate your prescriptions. Or to make sure they’ve made the referral they promised. Talk to your doctor. If you’ve been prescribed pain medication, it’s important to keep in contact with your GP. It will lower the chances of developing an addiction to pain relief.
Find People Who Are Feeling The Same As You
Chronic pain is isolating and depressing. Talking to or hearing stories from people who are going through the same thing can help you feel more connected. It can reduce feelings of loneliness and leave you feeling a little more positive. Look online for support forums and pages. It’s just nice to know you’re not going through this alone.
If you’re lucky enough to be referred to physical therapy, then take advantage of it. It might be a little painful at first, but it’s a long-term solution and can be a total game changer. Listen to their advice and don’t expect to be cured within the first few sessions. It can take a while to see the effects, but it’s definitely worth persevering.