Pain Psychology

By Lourdes Gaspar

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Pain Psychology

ACT for Pain

Dr Gaspar is founder of an online self-management program: www.ACTforPAIN.com

Constant pain encroaches on all aspects of an individual’s life. It may lead to;

  • Withdrawal from hobbies and other activities once enjoyed and cherished.
  • Inability to fulfil professional responsibilities and often loss of employment.
  • Problems with personal and intimate relationships.
  • There is often an erosion of confidence and self-esteem.
  • Patients often speak about how they refuse to “Give into their pain” or how they are trying to “Fight their pain”.

However, constant pain is all too frequently associated with chronic sleep disturbance and this in turn leads to mental and emotional exhaustion and the ability to “fight” pain becomes eroded.

Above all, there is a dehumanising effect to living in constant pain. The individual often becomes lost to themselves. Patients often say; “This isn’t me” or “I don’t recognise myself anymore”.

Interests, pastimes and passions no longer seem to matter. The “Joie de Vivre” fades.

A life is spent just coping with pain.

Managing chronic pain is complex and difficult. The treatment strategies such as optimising tablets and injections all have a limited benefit. Unfortunately, there are no cures for most chronic pain conditions. More often than not, patients continue to experience daily intrusive levels of pain.

It is important to develop psychological and emotional coping strategies to deal with this constant struggle you may be facing. The Act for Pain online self-management programme is designed to help you in this endeavour.