How to Deal With the Struggles of Chronic Pain
People with chronic pain often face challenges when it comes to managing daily life and the discomfort they suffer. These individuals not only have trouble with the pain itself but also with the negative feelings surrounding that pain. People with chronic pain have a difficult time maintaining a sense of control over their lives. Feeling like you are losing control can be the most difficult challenge to overcome. Let's take a look at what you can do for overcoming daily challenges of chronic pain.
Pain can take a physical toll on the body, but it can also make a psychological and emotional impact as well. Managing one’s pain can be done through self-management. The goal of this practice is to help people with chronic pain reclaim the idea of control. Before you can embark on the treatment of self-management, it is important to accept the notion of your pain as chronic.
Something that many people with chronic pain struggle with is the acceptance that they have chronic pain. Not knowing where the pain is coming from or how to stop it can hinder the acceptance of chronic pain. Once you have accepted that chronic pain is a part of your daily life, you can take steps to manage it. Clinicians will help you to pick the correct management technique that fits your lifestyle, but self-management is a great option to consider because it not only helps you to regain control in your life, but it also teaches you to recognize and prioritize your pain. Regardless of what management style you choose, acceptance of your condition is always the first step.
When dealing with any chronic ailment, it is important to remember that learning to manage it is key to living a “normal life.” Self-management is an option that allows you to take back some control of your life and offers you the chance to improve the quality of your life as well. It includes several responsibilities that will fulfill these goals.
- Manage medical needs – The first task is learning to manage your medical needs. This means you will need to make sure you are managing your medications properly by taking the correct amount at the correct dosage. It will also require you to establish a good partnership with your healthcare providers as they will be vital in helping you learn to manage your pain.
- Use cognitive and behavioral strategies – The next task requires that you use cognitive and behavioral strategies to help you learn to cope with your pain. This may mean that you invest time in going to see a therapist who can teach you meditative techniques you can use when experiencing mild pain. It also may involve him or her recommending that you alter your lifestyle so as not to cause more pain.
- Modification – Another task involves modification in order to maintain normalcy. You may need to alter family, social, and/or professional roles to manage your pain more effectively. For instance, instead of doing all the yard work around the house, perhaps you can recommend to your family that you divvy up the work so it is not too much or too strenuous for one person.
- Deal with emotional consequences – Finally, you will need to learn how to deal with the emotional consequences of chronic pain. It will help to talk to someone specifically about your emotions, whether it is a professional or someone you trust. Support groups are also very helpful with this stage. Being able to talk about your experiences with chronic pain will allow you to cope better with it, which will in turn help you to better manage it.
Chronic pain introduces many new challenges and obstacles to your life including but not limited to difficulties with problem-solving, decision-making, and communicating. All of these aspects can be addressed if you learn how to properly self-manage your pain. Allowing not only your body but also your mind time to adjust to self-management is a necessity, but when you do it, this will allow you to better cope with the chronic pain you are experiencing.