Every day hundreds of thousands of people suffer from chronic pain, and for all of those suffering, there are hundreds of thousands more that think that it is all in their heads. Well, the basic truth is that they are right, it is in the head but that doesn’t make it any less real nor does it suggest that you can turn it off just by not thinking about it.
Studies show that of people suffering from chronic pain, there are plenty of them faking it for more money from a lawsuit or extra time off work. Sadly, this has caused a great decline in the amount of trust that doctors, and we as a society, have for patients that are suffering due to there being no physical evidence of trauma that has not healed. For those who are not faking though, the pain is real.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain comes from a trauma that has since healed, or appears to be healed, by the average time it takes to heal most cases. However, looks can be deceiving. Just because the wound has healed and there is little evidence of a wound ever even being there, this does not mean that it has healed correctly nor that the brain has received the message that there is no more pain. Many things can happen to cause a disconnect between the brain and nervous system functions. In many cases, the patient has an overactive midbrain, which causes nerves to be more sensitive. This can cause a simple paper cut to feel like you have just had a limb amputated. Other causes consist of chemical imbalances, improper healing, and damage in other regions of the body that cause symptoms of pain in a given area.
Emotions, which are linked to chemical imbalances, are the worst of the causes. While some can go undiagnosed and others ignored, emotions are a constant and self-perpetuating cause that creates a cycle that normally leads to depression. You have pain which causes you not to do the things you love or feel accomplished. This makes you feel down or less of yourself and that leads to stress, which just leads to more pain. People constantly telling you that your pain isn’t real or suggesting that you have changed does not help the situation.
One of the better ways of dealing with chronic pain is to have a full and constant support system that trusts you and empathizes with you, rather than criticize. These people can be your doctors, your spouse, family, and friends. It will take all of them working together to lift your spirits and make you feel like there is nothing wrong with you. Too often, people don’t have that support system which leads them to prolonged suffering, and in some cases more fatal decisions.
Chronic pain is real and we should all recognize that and help those suffering to cope with their pain and get back to a standard of living they are comfortable with.