I'll try to resond in more detail later, but I want to say a few things clearly. First, I believe your pain is real and is not of psychological origin. You need to continue to search for an accurate diagnosis and treatment, although that's not always possible. By that I mean there are a lot of people in pain whose precise source can't be located or seen on tests, but the pain still needs to be treated. And treating it, as you read from most of us on this site, is easier said than done even IF you're lucky enough to have a great doc. And I don't know the UK system so I can't speak to that, but our system here in the U.S. re: pain management is pretty lousy.
But as you even acknowledge you've had a history of anxiety issues. That also is not only psychological; it's both physical and psychological. And I'm getting a sense of that possibly you're experiencing some trauma issues (again, that's physical and psychological - both and, not either or) as a result of all you've gone through. Even in this country I know that finding the right mental health help is important - not only in terms of competence, but there are some people who care enough to dig into the complexities, and some who just through out meds or cookbook strategies. CBT is good, but it's very cookbook oriented. That's why the insurance companies like it. But in and of itself it may not be enough. You indicate you've done a lot to build your own confidence over the years. How about
at least trying some good self-help strategies (it's a little harder this way, but it's bette than letter than anxiety take complete control of your life), and maybe you could even find a support group or even a good meditation class. It's hard with anxiety to learn to relax; they're the exact opposite regarding what the body is doing. So it will feel difficult, scary, and you'll want to give up. But if you can learn a little bit of how to calm your body, that's a good start. It will take a commitment. All this should be in conjunction with seeking treatment for your pain. Once again I want to say I do not believe this is all psychological; it's just that both conditions do feed off eachother. And while you may not be agorophobic now, there are signs you're moving in that direction. Agorophobia can start because of a physiological cause - and as I said I think you have real reasons to fear going out alone. If you continue to let your fears predominate, though, that's how it MAY turn into a full blow phobia. And you could find that even once your pain is treated you still have fear of going out. Do you see what I'm saying? That just means it's even more important to get the pain treated as soon as possible, but to resolve you won't let the fear take over your life.
Guess I went on longer than I thought. Please at least explore some of the resources I suggested. Belleruth Naparstek is superb. I make no money and have no connection with her other than I use her resources myself.
p.s. Your last sentence - about
wanting to return to the life you had before you were injured - is what most of us struggle with at one point or another. I still am. I want my life back. My work life, and the rest of it. The grief over all this is an enormous piece of the process, and I know that firsthand.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 6/3/2008 10:20:46 AM (GMT-6)