If there is one thing that you need to prioritize every day, it is to improve your mental health. You have to focus on finding ways of dealing with the issues in your life. It is essential to find balance in everything you do. Be sure to give yourself a chance to be happier. Below are some of the tips and tricks on how to make it happen:
Is your loved one suffering from chronic pain? Is his chronic illness affecting your relationship? Do you want to make things lighter between the two of you? If you answered yes to all these questions, then be sure to read this article from start to finish. Our team has created a roundup post containing several tips on how you can deal with someone who has a chronic illness.
Learn About The Pain. This is the most important thing that you have to do. Take note that the pain that your loved one is going through is severe. You will never understand his reactions or conducts without learning more about his chronic pain. Because of this, you also need to have a relationship with the pain doctor. It is necessary to ask for updates on his medical condition so that you will know what to do.
“When pain is chronic, options become limited. However, there is still a lot one can do. This does not mean that the pain is non-existent or that everything is in our head. To clarify, we are talking about a neurological process that determine our reactions, but whose mechanism we can learn from and influence to our benefit,” says Ana Nogales, Ph.D.
Know The Pain Intensity. As already mentioned above, each patient may have different levels of pain depending on the attending circumstance of each case. Most of the time, the pain will increase especially if the patient is not cooperating with the treatment or other medical procedures. The best way to do here is to develop a code wherein you could determine the level of pain that your partner is experiencing. Try to ask him about it on a regular basis.
Help Him Exercise. Being physically active is a proven effective way of eliminating or decreasing pain. Therefore, your goal is to ensure that your spouse exercises regularly. Help him come up with a fitness schedule that he could follow for a given month. At the same time, accompany him in performing the exercise activities so that the experience would be more fun and enjoyable.
Avoid Sensationalizing Everything. As a wife, it is only reasonable that you want to take the condition of your husband in a serious note. However, it is also essential that you keep in mind that your partner is already suffering too much. Do not make things more difficult by overreacting about everything. Instead, try to keep your calm and show him that you are handling the situation smartly. You can worry about his case but do not rattle him with your negative comments or emotions.
Respect Boundaries. Do not easily get offended if the other person wants to be alone for a while. Avoid taking things personally and making a big deal out of it. As an alternative, try to increase your patience and understanding. Chronic pain offers a high level of discomfort on the part of the person involved. Because of this, he may opt to find some solitude. When this happens, let him be. The proper thing to do is to give him space and respect the boundaries.
“Encourage each other to find someone outside of your relationship to sound off to who will listen more than they talk, ask just enough questions to allow you to process your thoughts, be confidential and trustworthy with your deepest thoughts, and not judge you for your frustrations,” according to Sharrie Thompson, nurse and Reiki expert.
Always put in mind that your partner is going through a difficult phase in his life. Be there for him no matter what happens. Do not give up because all your efforts will be worth it in the end.
And then, there’s therapy. Therapy “brings the benefit of a broader awareness to life, to not get wrapped up in a single way of living life, to explore healthy self-expression in ways that perhaps a person had been hiding from themselves,” said David Teachout, LMHCA, a psychotherapist.
Looking for the right pain doctor in your local community is not an easy thing to do. You need to be careful in choosing the professional who will help you with pain management issues and concerns. Take note that a relationship with the said doctor may last up to six months or even one year, depending on the type of pain that you are going through. Chronic illnesses can add discomfort and inconvenience in your life, which is why it is necessary to find a pain doctor whom you are comfortable with.
Below are some of the tips you need to remember:
Ask For Referrals
Do you have a regular doctor who has handled all your medical cases in the past? If he has issued a finding that you suffering chronic pain is a possibility, make sure to ask for a referral from him. This person probably knows a lot of specialists in pain management. Tell him to refer you to one of them and ask for a referral slip.
The nice thing about a referral is that the pain doctor will entertain you right away, knowing that some other medical specialist sent you to him. At the same time, the transmission of records from your general physician will be smooth since he knows the other professional he referred you to.
Talks To Friends
Aside from asking your general doctor about referrals, you can also try to get recommendations from friends. All you need to do is to find someone who has experience in suffering from chronic pain. It is better to get personal referrals so that you would have great leads to choose from. You can also ask some friends who know someone who has experience in dealing with a pain doctor.
The best thing about asking around is that you have a higher chance of getting a doctor that you can be comfortable with. It will be easier on your part to work with someone who has also handled the medical issue of your friends or even family members.
Conduct Your Research
Another great way to find the right medical pain specialist for you is to use online resources. Fortunately, there are already several websites containing essential and relevant information about pain management. Try to search for the available pain clinics in your area as well as the professionals composing its medical team. Do not neglect the reviews, testimonials, and comments posted by its previous clients.
There is a great need to read the feedbacks of these individuals so that you would be able to create a reasonable expectation about the clinic and doctor. Most importantly, make sure to verify the authenticity of the person posting the ratings before believing them. Do not be fooled by fake accounts.
Once you find the right pain doctor for you, be sure to stick with that professional. Always remember that choosing the perfect pain management specialist is essential. Do not take it for granted by taking your time in completing the process.
Chronic pain pertains to physical suffering, but most often than not, it also involves emotional distress. “Chronic pain also creates many stressors, which can lead to depression,” said Beverly Thorn, Ph.D. People who have chronic illnesses are more likely also to experience some psychological impacts brought about by their medical condition. Hence, everyone needs to be aware of the possible effects so that you would know how to address them appropriately. Check the enumeration below for the entire list:
A recent study shows that there is a connection between suffering from chronic pain and depression. “About 50 percent of people who have chronic pain also have depression,” according to Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D. Since a patient would regularly experience physical discomfort brought about by illness, one of the effects is a decrease in his functions. The existence of these limitations usually leads to sadness or grief. He would feel that he is already worthless, which can trigger depression. Unfortunately, when this depression is undiagnosed, the patient will suffer an increased level of pain.
“Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. It has been estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience depression during their lifetimes. About 85 percent of people experiencing a first episode of depression will relapse within the next 10 years,” this alarming fact came from Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
A person with a chronic illness is also more likely to feel that he could not handle the pain any longer. Thus, there is a high possibility that he would withdraw from his relationships with other people. The feeling of embarrassment would drive him to choose to be alone than to be surrounded by people. This stigma is also a driving factor in a person’s refusal to undergo medical treatment or refusal to see a pain doctor.
A chronic pain patient also has a high tendency to experience guilt. Of course, people will always be there for him to help with all his medical needs. However, this assistance may be interpreted by the patients as discomfort on the part of other people. As such, he would be guilty every time he receives love and care from other individuals. In the long run, it would prevent the patient from asking for further help.
When a person has a chronic illness, one of the negative emotions that he would feel is paranoia. As you probably know by now, a paranoid individual can overthink about his situation. Therefore, a paranoid chronic pain patient may end up feeling fears all the time. He would be frightened that his case will never get better. For this reason, he may choose just to give up medications because he believes that no matter what he does, his situation will never improve.
This can be somehow related to the feeling of depression. Nonetheless, it is crucial to emphasize the fact that depression is more severe compared to sadness. However, if this sadness or grief continues for an extended period, it may develop to depression. When this happens, the patient may become have suicidal tendencies. This is the primary reason why such a patient needs to be reminded that many people care for him. He needs to feel that a lot of individuals are looking forward to an improvement in his situation.
Dealing with someone who has chronic pain is quite challenging. Do not make things harder for them by acting weird or imposing specific methods for treatment. Instead, assure them that things will get better soon.
When you are suffering from chronic pain, the first thing that you need to do is to find the right pain doctor or pain coach who can help you handle the situation. It is necessary to note that a chronic illness can make you feel sorry for everything in your life. It will not only make you suffer physical pain but even negative emotions. There is a high tendency that you would always be in a bad mood and will drive people away.
As such, it is crucial to participate in all the activities that the pain doctor will conduct regarding your situation. As much as possible, avoid hiding or concealing material information from him, as it will only make the situation worse. At the same time, it can also lead to severe complications in your medical care. Below is a list of the top questions that you need to ask your pain doctor today:
“What Is Chronic Pain?”
This is the proper question to ask if you want to get some ideas about the causes and symptoms of the chronic illness that you are currently suffering from. Make sure that you have a full understanding of the situation. When this happens, it will be easier on your part to handle the issue. Moreover, you can quickly identify the possible cure or treatment for the said chronic pain.
“What Are The Treatment Options Available?”
After discussing the type of chronic pain, the next thing that you need to take into consideration is the list of available treatment options on your part. Of course, the goal of finding a pain doctor is for you to have an opportunity to handle the medical problem easily. Therefore, asking for the options that you can choose is crucial. Do not forget to ask your pain doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
“How Long Will The Treatment Take?”
The length of time that you would work with a chronic pain doctor depends on different factors. Some patients may need only a month while others may need more than a year for pain treatment. To prepare yourself for this matter, it is highly recommended to ask your pain doctor as early as possible about the length of the potential engagement of his services. Take note that the duration that the pain doctor will tell you is only an estimate.
“How Much Will It Cost?”
Asking about the cost of the treatment and services is the most important thing. Do not engage the doctor’s services without asking about his upfront fees and other hidden costs. Keep in mind that the functions of such a medical professional are expensive, which is why you need to prepare for it. Knowing the number of expenses ahead of time will help you work on a budget. Therefore, do not hesitate to inquire about money matters with your chosen pain doctor. Just remember that it is for your good.
Have you ever wondered why breaking up with someone makes your chest area feel so tight that it literally hurts? When you call it quits with a person, you care for or maybe even love, the pain all over your body is too much. You will experience headaches, body aches, and your heart will literally feel this excruciating pain. It’s like as if your world has ended, and that there is no way to fix it and or make it better.
What People Do To Getting Rid Of Their Broken Heart (But To No Avail)
You watch Netflix or read stories in Episode. People drown their sorrows in social media or other internet websites to pass the time. Some consume large amounts of wine or beer, while others are over-exercise or clean the house until their hands bleed. No matter what you do, the pain in your heart is there. It does not go away quickly, and even if you cry so hard or scream so loud, the fact remains that your heart is broken.
Science Proves What Happens To The Body When One Experiences A Broken Heart
The brain will tell the body that it is hurting.
“Pain can accompany even necessary break-ups and emotional gains. While many of us may be relieved to see an unsatisfying relationships take its last gasp, some may feel acute pain when forced to acknowledge that a relationship or friendship has run its course,” says Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.
When you break-up with your boyfriend or girlfriend or separate from your spouse (whom you still love), the pain is like no other. It’s like you’ve been physically sucker-punched and at times, while it’s still new, you will be hyperventilating. A psychologist terms this pain as “social rejection” and it is a real pain.
It is highly probable that you will get fat or thin because the body will want to eat less or overeat.
You will be very sad because of what happened, and it’s understandable. And because you’re feeling that way, your mind will want to binge-eat or won’t like to eat much at all. It is terrible because overeating or under eating is not healthy. The body will experience headaches and stomach pains due to behavior.
After a break-up, your body will release stress hormones.
Well, naturally, that is the case! When a person is so much in love, the body will release “happy” hormones called oxytocin and dopamine. In opposite, if the person is heartbroken, the body will release stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine. When there is an abundance of cortisol in the system, the muscles will tense up and swell. It causes head pains, stiff neck, and that choking feeling.
Depression is inevitable and expected.
“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Only one out of four individuals [with depression] seeks treatment. The reason more don’t go for psychotherapy or medication is stigma. They worry they’ll be labeled, deemed undesirable, and other such things,” says Deborah Serani PsyD.
Upon breaking up with your loved one, you will experience a sudden decline in your self-esteem. If you have self-image problems, it is two times as likely to initiate a depressed state compared to other issues. If you are depressed, your head will hurt a lot.
Again, the matter is about rejection, and how your ex-lover rejected you and wanted to move on without you. There was a study about this one conducted by scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Love is your drug; therefore, there will be a withdrawal.
After a break-up, you will experience “withdrawal.” It is reasonable considering love is your drug, and you’re an addict to it. Withdrawal from anything will manifest many types of body pains. The problem is not just emotional. It is also physical.
While it may seem that sulking and locking in your bedroom while eating a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is the best therapy for a broken heart, it’s really not. Put your sneakers on and some casual clothes. Apply lipstick (for girls), or shave your beard (for guys), then take a walk. It’s better to heal doing things that will uplift your spirit rather than sleeping, eating and moping around.
“As the grieving process progresses you will begin to see your way through to a point at which you can let go in a more proactive and self-protective way—a way that you may eventually come to understand as a new beginning,” says Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. when explaining about the grieving process of a break up.
In the United States, chronic pain is considered as one of the major causes of disability in many persons. As early as now, it is significant to highlight the fact that chronic pain pertains to several disorders. This means that there are different kinds of chronic pain that a particular individual may suffer.
“We all know that it is unpleasant to live with pain. What we don’t know, however, is how to manage our pain. We try to avoid pain, but we don’t always do it in the most appropriate way,” says Ana Nogales, Ph.D.
Ever felt that sudden rush of peace and energy right after a good workout session? Or even after a lap or two in your subdivision in a chill quiet morning, insight the sun rising to its majesty, the cities still snoring and the birds chirping harmoniously in the near.
In life’s journey, you often encounter situations that result in emotional pain. “Emotional pain can become an addiction to some people. Overwhelmed with feelings like sadness, depression, guilt, shame or fear, these emotions become so common and constant that you may feel like it’s a part of you and you can’t imagine life without it,” according to Elizabeth Hartney, PhD.
In his book, Emotional First Aid, Guy Winch, a blogger from Psychology Today, lists seven such cases and provides tips on how to deal with them.
The first situation is rejection. It is natural to feel pain when a family member stops talking to you or your friends start ignoring you. Winch suggests four tips. First, stop criticizing yourself. Second, be aware of your strengths. Third, search for other people to replace the ones who rejected you. Last, prepare yourself for upcoming rejections by practicing on minor rejections that are easily surmounted.
The second situation is the loneliness. Loneliness can be a vicious cycle wherein the longer you go without socializing with others, the harder it is to make new friends or keep in touch with old friends. If you believe that no one cares about you or that other people are thinking negatively of you, Winch suggests you fight that belief with logical counterarguments. Winch also suggests practicing empathy, such as getting a pet that you can care for.
The third situation is loss and trauma. It is perfectly normal to feel suffering when you lose someone you love or when you have a traumatic experience. Winch suggests that you give yourself time to heal and to try to ease the pain using your usual coping methods.
The fourth situation is guilt. Winch lists three kinds of guilt. There’s unresolved guilt wherein you feel that you have not adequately apologized to someone you have wronged. Then there’s survivor guilt wherein you survive a situation that has one or more other fatalities. And finally there’s separation guilt wherein you believe you don’t deserve an independent and successful life. For unresolved guilt, Winch recommends that you apologize. For survivor and separation guilt, Winch advises that you apologize to yourself and then to forgive yourself.
The fifth situation is rumination. Rumination happens when you mentally go over and over your unhappy memories. Winch recommends that you tell yourself that other people do not see your mistakes in the same magnitude as you do. What seems to be a significant failure on your part might seem minor to others, or they may not even be aware of it. Winch also recommends distracting yourself and turning your mind to other thoughts. If you are angry at someone, try to see the positive side. If someone is insulting you or putting you down, view their words as constructive criticism and try to use them as opportunities for self-improvement.
“I can recognize that I have the strength, resilience, and value to heal this hurt over time. I will stay true to my deepest values, focus on creating more value in my life, reach out to friends and other loved ones, recognize human frailty in my spouse and in myself, evaluate my options for a better future.” These words were uttered by Steven Stosny, Ph.D. for you to move on and heal.
The sixth situation is a failure. Emotional pain can result from shame due to breakdowns. Anxiety can also result from a fear of failure. Fear of making a mistake can even result in actual self-fulfilling failure. Winch’s recommendation is to talk to some close to you. They can provide emotional support and help you see the situation in a brighter light. For fear of failure, Winch suggests distracting yourself and using humor to cope with real or imagined shortcomings.
And the seventh situation is low self-esteem. Having low esteem can be a vicious cycle lowering your self-esteem even further. It makes you vulnerable to other people’s criticisms. It makes you doubt your abilities leading to your inadequate performance in your activities. Winch’s recommendations for the different situations that result in emotional pain can be used to deal with low self-esteem but in greater quantity. This includes being compassionate to yourself and focusing on your strengths. Winch also recommends that you practice mindfulness, exercise willpower, and admit to yourself that you will fail sometimes.
Winch’s tips and recommendations can be categorized as cognitive-behavioral therapy, wherein changes in thoughts and behavior result in changes in one’s emotions. But if Winch’s strategies do not work, you should seek help from a mental health professional. As Elyssa Barbash Ph.D. said, “These people want to feel healthy and be free from distress, so they are more willing to actively engage in therapy in order to make changes.”
Most of the situations people encounter that result in emotional pain can be dealt with using Winch’s suggestions. You can use these strategies to prevent you from wallowing in emotional distress.
Chronic pain is severe as is, but how can ensure that you can still raise your child the best way despite it? “Chronic pain also often includes a tremendous psychological and social burden; children with ongoing pain regularly miss school, are unable to participate in activities, have reduced social relationships, and are three times more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression than children without pain,” says Rachael Coakley Ph.D.
These points may help you, the parent, always do your job effectively, being fair and firm on your child. Medications can only do so much. As many may have said, the household is still the critical factor in all of this. You will need to make sure you understand the pain, yet encourage him/her to normalize, not letting the pain consume him/her.
Routines & Rewarding
Chronic pain is a routine of pain, so what does one do? Fight it back with a method of your own. Encourage him/her to continue with school but do ask for considerations for the condition for things such as gym class and any other potential hazards.
A function may help dull out the pain and does more so when it improves. Encourage (not threaten) the child to do chores, starting with simple ones such as taking care of his room or preparing the table for dinner, and reward them for doing so. Putting up a schedule on the fridge door may be recommended, so to support keeping a routine.
However, keep in mind the reality of the condition, gradually adjusting the routine to best suit the child’s capabilities. Do try to reach out to professionals for more information and support on the matter.
Differing rewards can be given to a child, depending on age. Younger ones can use a sticker system to keep track of their success every day, while older ones appreciate praise about their independence.
Sleep management is very much a factor in this. Unchecked, lack of sleep can cause mood swings and can worsen the pain experience. Many things can distract from getting the adequate hours in, and as such, guidelines need to be followed, such as:
No caffeine, sugar, spice within four hours of bedtime
Limit the screen time an hour right before bed
Keeping everything that has a screen outside the bedroom
Teaching the child to relax come night and eventually fall asleep of their own accord
Help With Transitions
Your child is going through a time of many a change, be it upcoming middle school, joining a new camp, dabbling in an after-school activity, or joining the school team. An essential step in all of this is having a relaxed conversation; ask them about their fears and assure them they’re going to be alright.
Do, however, encourage him to stay on a routine, keeping in mind that the child needs support from you, and help them regain their independence, which they may want when middle school comes.
“Focusing on what the child can do to help himself or herself empowers the child to get control over the pain instead of allowing the pain to take control,” says child psychologist Laura Goldstein, PsyD.
What Not To Do
Do not ignore the child’s pain. Surely there may not be visible signs, but that doesn’t excuse you from ignoring it. It will be essential that the child knows that you believe their pain.
Do not heavily focus on the pain. As Wilde has said, “everything in moderation”; and it sure does apply here. Doing the extreme opposite is also not healthy for the situation, as it may just worsen the psyche more.
Do not be over-protective. Children, especially older ones, may feel belittled when you do this. Your job is only to guide them, not control them or the environment around you.
Let the child speak for himself/herself.
Do not coddle the child. Just because pain is present doesn’t mean you can be lax on your parenting. Be on the lookout if the child attempts to manipulate the situation unjustly, and mete out consequences.
Do not chase a cause that isn’t there. Touring a whole host of specialists or piling the tests on a patient doesn’t help with the psychological aspect, and as such, isn’t recommended.
Do not let the pain define him/her. Draw attention to his/her talents instead of the condition. It could help with mental well-being.
Dealing with a child in chronic pain may demand much out of you, and as such, you need to take care of yourself. After all, you could not adequately take care of your child if you’re also in an unfit state. Sometimes, it is ok to hang back, watch some Netflix, play a game, etc. Everyone has different ways and needs, but here are the more common ones:
Enough sleeping hours
A balanced diet
Do remember that it’s okay to seek professional help if it would for the better. Accept that sometimes, it’s ok to be human with weaknesses. “Therapy goes beyond survival to enhancing your life. “It can help people develop and foster passion, productivity, and balance in their lives,” said psychotherapist Chris Boyd, MA.