Effects Of Chronic Pain

 As chronic pain sufferers we’ve all figured that our off the chart level of pain must be damaging our bodies in some way.  After all how can one human being come through that much suffering in the same condition they started.  Whether that change is physical, emotional or mental, coping with severe or even moderate pain on a daily basis can be devastating. When I say daily I’m not convinced that people who have not experienced our suffering understand what daily includes.  Daily can and most often does include pain every moment of every hour of everyday of every month of every year.  Keeping in mind chronic pain is often a life long condition or disease. So even moderate pain that someone may be able to cope with for a week or so at the best becomes un manageable and devastating on a long term daily basis. 

I’ve heard chronic pain described in many ways to those who have not experienced its devastation. I think the most successful way I’ve heard it described is through a migraine. Most people have experienced migraine headaches in one form or another.  Imagine for a moment having a migraine.  You cant stand up, tolerate noise and may even vomit because of the pain. Now imagine that pain not going away despite turning off all the lights, taking any over the counter medication you can find and burying yourself in the darkest place.  You cant sleep because the pain is so severe and you cant get up because standing may bring you to the point of losing consciousness.  Imagine having this migraine for only one solid week with no break or medication to stop it.  Seem overwhelming and unimaginable. Well take that week and add months and years of a constant painful migraine.  Does the thought want to make you commit yourself to the local psych-ward? well, you’ve just understood a minute amount of what chronic pain can feel like and do to someone.  And no, its not an over dramatization.  In-fact you may want to add kids screaming at you, husbands, wives  and family nagging you to make dinner and the boss calling wondering why you cant come in to work.  Of course you cant forget the Doctors who keep treating you like an addict trying to score drugs and convince you your probably just depressed. 

There will always be those you don’t want to believe in what they cant physically see.  And its true that pain is relative.  My pain may be a level 3 on a pain scale while someone else may rate the same pain a 8 or 9 and visa versa. And while there are definite symptoms of pain such as high hear rate, blood pressure, increased sweating, hot and cold flashes and tremors.  Those stmptoms are not always seen as physical proof that someone is experiencing pain.  Doctors can mold them into symptoms of anxiety and even symptoms of withdrawals.  And there starts the on going battle of chronic pain.  That is why any scientific breakthroughs in the effects or damages of Chronic Pain are so important to those who treat it and suffer from it. 

With increased research and discoveries, more medical professionals and loved ones of people in chronic pain will have no choice but to pay attention to those who are suffering.  There are still countless people being refused pain treatment or under treated leading to continued suicides each year.  Even those who are lucky enough to be treated need more understand and support from doctors and family. 

When you suffer with chronic pain it is so important to surround yourself with supportive and understanding people.  Being made to feel lazy, guilty or bad for not being able to do the things that are difficult or impossible can lead to increased depression, anxiety and even suicide.  If you are a loved one of a chronic pain sufferer, let them know you want to understand as much as possible and that you support and love them.  While you may never understand,  letting them know you even want to  can make a huge difference in the way they feel and cope with there new or continued way of life. Chronic pain demands a change in life style and thinking.  Anyone in that situation needs all the support and understanding they can get. 

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