Like waves wear away stone, pain erodes your quality of life

Of all psychiatric conditions, chronic pain is the most awfully constant, persistent and pervasive.

Depression follows chronic pain like night follows day

Chronic pain is the result of psychological factors that singly or in concert, magnify and amplify a patient’s suffering. It is a debilitating long-term condition that demands appropriate management.

Anxiety, depression, grief, stress, crisis, exhaustion. In a terrible self-perpetuating cycle, all of these will magnify and amplify the intensity of the chronic pain patient’s suffering. Anyone who has experienced relentless pain knows how brutally it can grind you down. Whereas for most of us sooner or later the pain abates, for the chronic pain sufferer, pain is a cruel, ever-present companion.

The metaphor we use to address chronic pain is, “the rocks, the sea and the magnificent tree”. Imagine a tree reaching for the sky at the top of a rugged cliff perpetually gnawed at by the pounding surf of an angry sea. The key message of the metaphor is don’t magnify the pain by looking down. You are the heroic tree that endures by reaching for the sky. The higher you rise the less you hurt.

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How do you feel?

Anxious

I worry about everything all the time.

Depressed

I have been sad and miserable for a long time.

Addicted

I continue to use even though I know it is bad for me.

In pain

I am constantly in pain. It seems to go on and on and it never stops.

In crisis

I am struggling to hold things together.
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