Constant pain is not only stressful for your body but also psychologically stressful. It can lead to frustration with yourself and loved ones, hopelessness, and debilitation. While your doctor can treat the physical aspects of chronic pain, our therapists are uniquely trained to help you manage the mental and emotional aspects of this often debilitating condition.
Through a variety of psychological techniques and therapy, the team at Taylor Counseling Group can help build your resilience and teach you the necessary skills for the management of chronic pain.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is any kind of persistent pain that lasts longer than six months. A variety of medical conditions and injuries can result in chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia or spinal damage. Sadly, many people experience constant pain without knowing the exact cause. Even if there is no clear explanation for your chronic pain, the experience of painful symptoms is a real phenomenon. Brain scans light up in distinct ways when experiencing this debilitating symptom.
Understanding the biological and psychological process of pain can bring a sense of understanding to those who are suffering. Pain is the body’s way of indicating danger, and it’s meant to be a brief phenomenon. When your pain system is damaged, pain signals can fire continuously for days, months, or years. Pain can even become a newly learned neural pathway in your brain.
Persistent pain can cause you to be in a constant state of alertness and is both physically and psychologically stressful. This constant state of discomfort can cause you to lash out against yourself and those you love. It’s not uncommon for those with chronic pain to experience a host of other mental and emotional difficulties, such as:
- Sleep problems
- Anger and frustration
- Withdrawal from people or activities you once enjoyed
- Substance dependence
Coping Techniques for Those With Chronic Pain
Pain management is an important part of dealing with chronic pain. You and your physician will work out a treatment approach to address the underlying physical causes. However, as pain is also a learned behavior with psychological ramifications, it’s also essential to find a trained therapist who can help you “unlearn” the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of this condition.
Our clinicians can aid you in managing pain through a number of different therapeutic techniques:
- Stress management: For some chronic pain sufferers, unaddressed stress contributes to their debilitating and painful symptoms. Reversely, continued pain also causes stress. By learning relaxation techniques and methods of managing stress, we can help reduce the amount of stress in your life and, hopefully, reduce the pain itself.
- Thought restructuring: Each time you think about your pain, monitor it, regret its existence, or feel frustration over it, the part of your brain experiencing pain gets reinforced. After thinking about pain so many times for so many days, weeks, or years, it becomes a habit — and habits are hard to break. Through thought restructuring, you may still experience pain, but it can lose much of its power over you. This can help the experienced pain feel less intense.
- Lifestyle changes: Your day-to-day life can play a role in managing pain. As you meet with our team, we’ll advise you on positive lifestyle changes that can help manage your pain.
Don’t Go Through This Difficult Time Alone
You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. The highly trained team at Taylor Counseling Group wants to walk beside you and help you navigate the emotional and psychological ramifications of chronic pain. Schedule your appointment at one of our Central Texas locations today to learn more.