Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

So we all know what a pain, pain is.  There are many reasons for pain. People who are depressed or anxious often exhibit chronic pain.  Stress, anger and sadness worsen pain and often cause it.  However, many people have some illness or injury and get depressed due to the pain and limitations imposed on them.  People with chronic pain also suffer from fatigue and muscle tension in addition to stress and intense emotions. Many people have injuries and scans to prove it, but sometimes the pain is worse than would be expected for that injury.  Is that person sensitive? Is there something else going on physically? Or is it stress and other emotions making it worse?

People taking narcotic pain relievers have more complications.  They become dependent on the medication.  When first taking these medications, most people get high from them.  It’s a good feeling and the pills are legitimately prescribed, so why not.  They also have added euphoria because the pain is usually gone. In order to keep that high and keep the pain away they take more which increases their tolerance and dependence.  The problem is that people unconsciously (meaning they are unaware of) want to keep taking these drugs, because they make them feel good.  You get stressed or aggravated and, ouch my neck hurts worse, so you pop another pill.  It becomes a habit.  Just looking at the pill starts relieving the pain.  People then find reasons to need the medication.  Let me be clear here.  The pain is real and it sucks.  However there is usually a more complicated process happening.  So people sometimes unintentionally create the pain to be able to legitimately take the medication. Be honest with yourself and the reasons you take your pain medication. Did someone just piss you off? Did something stress you out, or is it your regular time to take it?

Let’s face it.  The only way to manage chronic pain without medication or at least significantly limit it, is to engage a lot of time, energy and money.  It is easier to pop a pill that cost you maybe ten bucks a bottle, than to meditate once or twice a day, get acupuncture and chiropractor treatments, get massages, undergo hypnosis treatments, use ice and heat, do stretches your physical therapist tells you to do, eat earthy, get some fitness in, take baths in essential oils like lavender to relax or eucalyptus to release lactic acid that causes muscle tension, identify ad effectively express your emotions, or actively engage in psychotherapy etc.   That’s a lot of effort.  Plus insurance companies for those who even have it rarely cover many of the alternative treatments, further reinforcing the problem with dependence on these medications.  The pharmaceutical companies sure want you in pain.  So be honest with yourself.  Are you willing to put forth the effort to manage your pain?   People in chronic pain must take care of themselves, eat clean, get what exercise they can and change their thinking, especially about pain.  If you have decided that you are not ready to make such a huge lifestyle change, then maybe you pick one change, such as your diet or meditation.  Meditation helps a lot. Yes the pain will come back, but you can teach yourself tricks to alleviate it.  Hypnosis is also helpful in managing chronic pain. For religious folks, prayer is also very helpful.  Add time to your prayer sessions and meditate.  Again it is an investment in yourself.  Aren’t you worth it? If the answer is no or, I don’t have time I have to take care of this and that person…, then it would serve you well to start with psychotherapy.  Also you don’t have to change everything I listed, it will vary from person to person.  You have to try things before you say they don’t work for you, having given it adequate effort.

Quick tips for managing pain: Pick as many of these one at a time: eat earthy, do exercises your physician and/or physical therapist says you can do, find healthy ways to manage your emotions, meditate, consider looking into vitamins and supplements you can safely use that might help, and don’t be afraid to seek therapy to help you regain control and work with your body to alleviate pain.



Dr. Umfer is a licensed clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist in Tampa Florida. She specializes in weight loss and forensic evaluations, such as sex offender risk assessments, psychological evaluations for substance abuse, competency, fitness for duty, immigration etc. She has certifications in fitness and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy and as a meditation instructor. She identifies herself as a Forensic Evaluator and Weight Liberator and strives to help clients become "Umferized" aka empowered and fulfilled.

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