Pain is normally considered to be physiological and yet there are sufferers of chronic pain in whom no physical reason can be found. Often, such people are considered to be suffering from psychosomatic or psychogenic pain. Another confusing factor can be that the emotional distress may be as a result of pain and not the other way round.
The first and foremost is, of course, a comprehensive medical evaluation to ascertain whether the cause is physical or emotional. Nothing can be more devastating for the sufferer to be told that his chronic pain is in the mind and he simply needs to take control of his life. Pain that manifests itself in such a way is actually a cry for help to cope.
Some situations are beyond one’s control and these may be the ones that cause the maximum distress. The perception of stress is a highly individualized one. Here are a few things that are worthwhile enough to try if you are struggling with chronic pain:
- Pause/stop(instead of hurtling along)
- Evaluate(assume control of your life)
- Prioritize(what is worth worrying about or killing yourself over),
- Let go(this could be the actual situation or your own emotional response to it)
This is easier said than done and some techniques that you can do on your own to cope:
- positive worry (set aside worry time, that way you are free from negative rumination all the time)
- write down what troubles you (you would be surprised how cathartic that can feel)
- share your troubles with a friend (you feel less alone)
- exercise (this gives an outlet to your pent up emotions)
Other techniques that you can learn:
- Relaxation training- meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, massage
- Distraction techniques-guided imagery, music, counting backwards, develop a hobby