Living with Chronic Pain Disorder can be incredibly isolating. When you experience pain that seems to never end, it takes a toll on you and your relationships. You are prone to taking out your frustrations on your loved ones and there are moments when you feel as though no one understands your struggles.
This sense of loneliness heightens the psychological dimension of the disorder, making it harder to cope. According to Dr. David Biro, author of Listening to Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief, the “privacy and unsharability” of chronic pain is a huge part of what makes the condition “painful.”
What Are Chronic Pain Support Groups?
For sufferers whose chronic pain is magnified by loneliness, there are certain groups like those formed by the American Chronic Pain Association that can provide much-needed support. These circles do not provide any form of treatment but they serve as a venue for people to share their experiences in order to encourage others. They are open not only to those with chronic pain but also to family and friends who wish to gain a deeper understanding of their loved one’s situation.
Various modalities are used by support groups. The most common ones include role playing, guided imagery and meditation exercises. Members are also educated about proper decision-making and coping techniques.
Thinking about joining a chronic pain support group? Here are some useful tips when you are looking for one near you.
Pain experts are oftentimes associated with a local support group. If not, they likely have patients who have experienced going to meetings. So if you are looking for emotional relief, your best resource is an expert. You may feel uncomfortable about asking for help but keep in mind that out of everyone, a pain expert is someone who truly understands your situation. Reaching out to this person could be your first step in breaking out of isolation.
Many believe that social media worsens isolation but according to Pew Research Center, those who interact with other people through any social media channel actually have stronger and more diverse networks than those who choose to deal with chronic pain alone.
Sufferers find it hard to leave their homes and this is where social media becomes useful. The internet world is filled with resources for those with Chronic Pain Disorder. For example, there are groups, forums, social media profiles and websites like Success Thang, A Way With Pain and the American Chronic Pain Association. These resources are dedicated to providing support and education to those living with pain. Some of them also serve as platforms for people who want to express their feelings about their condition.
Looking for online support is easy. Just simply go online and search for “chronic pain support groups” or “chronic pain support groups near me.”
Friends And Family
Even if you feel that your loved ones may not understand you, do not hesitate to reach out for their help. They may be as frustrated as you are, but they care about your emotional wellness. If they do not have any knowledge about a support group or a person who can talk to you, your friends and family may be willing to lend a listening ear. You may not be aware of it, but maybe they are just waiting for you to reach out to them.