Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness

How does chronic pain affect mental health?

You may be finding yourself feeling sad or discouraged when dealing with chronic conditions such as going through a heart attack, receiving a life-changing diagnosis, or when you are trying to manage a chronic condition such as pain. When you have to adjust to new limits on what you will be able to do in the future. You may feel stressed or concerned about the outcomes of your treatment as the challenges of getting better are harder than you think they should be. It may be hard to adapt to a new reality and cope with the changes and ongoing treatment that come with the diagnosis. Your favorite activities, such as hiking or gardening, may be harder to do or may they are just a pastime now.

Chronic pain is associated with emotional changes, as sufferers of a chronic condition may experience anxiety surrounding the return of the pain or the discovery of new pain. Adjusting to a diagnosis of a chronic condition may cause you to struggle to adapt or cope with the changes to a new way of life with chronic pain. This can be causing you to feel depressive symptoms such as feeling a loss of control of your own health and well-being. While anxiety and depression surrounding chronic pain can be crippling and detrimental to the quality of life.

In therapy, we will work to help learn ways to interrupt negative thinking, identify your strengths, and regain focus on the positive aspects of life. Throughout the therapy process, you will work to increase your ability to cope with the difficult emotions caused by the chronic condition which can lead to reducing unhealthy responses to pain, such as overusing prescription medication or avoiding activities in daily life and help you to be able to enjoy family, friends, work and leisure time again.