Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   

How much of a psychological impact has chronic pain had on you life? 


Is it just me or do many people with chronic pain develop serious psychological problems?


I’ve always had a lot of psychological problems, but since I’ve developed chronic pain, all my psychological problems have magnified significantly.  As a child and teenager, my life was severely limited by a combination of avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety disorder.


These disorders caused severe social limitations, depression, and rampant drug use.  Nonetheless, I still had some things to be proud of …. I was strong, tough, dependable, formidable, intelligent, robust, and industrious…. And I could withstand nearly any physical feat (I severed in the U.S. Marine Corps).  In addition, I could work 60+ hours a week with ease.    


Since I’ve developed chronic pain, most of the few things I’ve had to be proud of have disappeared.  I’m no longer athletic.  My chronic pain makes it impossible to engage in near the amount of physical activity I once did.  I can no longer handle a full-time job.  I can’t even withstand the prolonged sitting involve in extensive travel.  I can’t handle the prolonged sitting involved in taking many college courses.  Also, my avoidant personality disorder symptoms have skyrocketed from mild to sever.  I avoid all voluntary social activities, and I have no friends.  I only go to work and school (I work part-time and go to college part-time).    


I need and want to be a man of strength, admiration, confidence, industriousness, and fortitude.  I need and want to be a man who deserves to have an amazing girlfriend.  I need and want to be a man who has the ability to do things that have a significant positive impact on others.  Unfortunately, my chronic pain makes it impossible to do most of the things I need and want to do.    


In summary, my chronic pain has destroyed most of the few things I had to be proud of.  I feel worthless and pathetic… and I have severe bouts of depression and frequent thoughts of 


Can anybody else relate to what I’ve said?  What do you-all do to cope with these kinds of feelings?   


Please don’t recommend therapy or seeing a psychologist.  Those things don’t work for people like me because I’m unwilling to speak freely amongst people I don’t know.  I only open up on forums because it’s anonymous, and I know I can leave at any moment.


pr glo
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 8/18/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
A lot of us on this forum have chronic pain and can relate to your pain. I myself can not do certain things I did before but I'm thankful for what I can do no matter how little it is. Since you don't want to speak to anyone on a one on one basis maybe you need to speak to a higher power who ever that would be for you because you are a special and precious person and you deserve to keep living in this world no matter how you feel. Your Life should be precious to you no matter what there are other people in worst condition than you and they deal with things day by day try to do the same. If you need to just talk you can always write to me. Keep in Touch and keep your Head Up!!!! PR Glo  

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 8/18/2008 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I think almost everyone on Chronic Pain has problems like yours or similar to yours.
You can count me in. I've had it seven years. Seven years ago I was a Hot Tamale and
now ... woe is me ... I've turned into a toad in pain.
Psychiatrists can help because they prescribe antidepressants. I've never found
talking to a professional of any benefit. I always think ..."They're being nice to me
because I pay them to be." However, if you think meds might help.
Friends help an amazing amount. How the hay do you get friends if you're not out and
Well, hang in her with us. We're a good bunch.
Pamela Neckpain

P.S. I think psychiatrists and psychologists are excellent for teenagers and kids who'haven't yet figured out why people can be so UGH.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/18/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   


Im right there with you as well, I think all of us in here.  It is a day to day struggle and you can only take one day at a time and deal with what you have to deal with on that day.

For me I am learning as well what my limitations are and what I need to do to fuction in a new world of CP.  Some days are better than others.

I have had to learn to reinvent myself as the person that I am today at this point.

I am a planner and need some sort of goal to shoot for everday.  At first I started to set goals on a day to day basis then relized that it wasnt possible to do that as somedays I can handle the phycical side but not the emotional and vice versa.  So now I try and get them for the week.  One a day from cleaning my bathroom to taking a ride, food shooping, or even encouraging someone else as that makes me feel better, exc..  I make them obtainable for me and not others.

Second I am surrounding myslef with a good network of people to talk to.  I have friends that all offer up certain traits.  Those that incourage when I need it I call them.  Those like on here that will listen to me rant and rave when Im angry and frustrated and understand and that goes a long way.  When I need pragmatic I go my mom she is a shrink lol and sometimes pragmatic is needed.

Thrid I cut myself a break and realize that I do have limitations and accepting that is part of healing and learning to live a productive life.  As well as knowing that you are just as special as you were when you body was hole.  Those things you mentioned doesnt not make you a man they just make you a man that can do those things.

"I need and want to be a man of strength, admiration, confidence, industriousness, and fortitude.  I need and want to be a man who deserves to have an amazing girlfriend.  I need and want to be a man who has the ability to do things that have a significant positive impact on others.  Unfortunately, my chronic pain makes it impossible to do most of the things I need and want to do. "


These things you speak of come from within and not from what you are phyicaly ably to do. And you seem to already possess many if not all of these things.  Fortitude because you indure looking for a better way of living with what you have been giving.  Strength because you are here seeking help and it takes more strength than most to ask for help and realize we are not alone and its ok to ask for it.  Confidence because once again you are hear baring you heart to us all for help. Admiration because It is admirable to know that you are willing to find a better way.  Industrious because you are seeking out a way to make things better for yourslef instead of staying in the statis qou.  That is what I see when i read your post Lonely.


Sometimes we put ourselves in the same as others and it takes all walks of life to make significant impacts on others lives.  I know many on here with just there words of encouragement have impacted my life with imeasurable impact that I wont ever forget. 


I know as a woman I look more at what is inside a man that out Lonely.  I would trade a man that could do all the phycail things for a man with a amazing heart and soul.  And most woman are like me than not.

 But you will have to at some point when you are ready put yourslef out there to meet that special woman you want to meet. There are many out there that will look past the phyical Lonely.  I do believe you have it in you to overcome your social limitations as you can go to school and work part time.  Its just getting to a place (when your ready) to push past where you are now. 


I so hope you will continue to write hear as there are many who understand what you are going through and just how hard it is to cope some days. 


I know for myself that my spirtualty keeps me grounded even when I have a really bad day and I know that Im not paying those to give me advice and help they do it freely and ask nothing in return.  They just want to help because somewhere along the way someone helped them.


For myself one of my philosphy that I live by is that if everyone is always giving then everyone is always recieving its a circle that feeds itself and is never ending.  And on here you will always get that. 


And just so you know,  You gave me purpose today Lonely,  I am having a really bad day today and just writing this has brought back to me some of my basic rules of survial and put my mindset in a better place so thank you as well.  YOUR impact was much needed for me today!


I hope you find that you are in a better place after reading this Lonely,  I did it because I care and not because expected me to or any other reason.  You are not alone and if you need anything all you have to do is post or ask. 


Praying for your peace and healing





Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/18/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   


I forgot to add that I have post its all over my house.  I know that sounds silly but I do believe in the power of postive reinforcment.  I have things like you are still strong, you are worthy of a good life, you are a overcommer,  some I have scripture, or sayings from other famous people that make me feel impowered everday.

"I dream my painting and then I painy my dream" Vincent Van  Gogh

"Faith is taking the first step when you dont see the staircase"  Martin Luther Kind, Jr

"Be the change you want to see in the world" Mahatma Gondhi

"You are never to old ( I changed this to broken) You are never to broken to set another goal or dream a new dream"  C.S. Lewis


These are just examples that I like if they dont suit you then google is great.  I can find some spirtual ones for you as well if you want them didnt know where your faith lies.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9248
   Posted 8/18/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lonely and welcome!

I too understand social withdrawal and the pain of not being strong and able to do what I used to. Just recently my doc said I'm done working. Still dealing with that blow. And too I don't like talking with strangers one on one about my problems unless I know them first. I think you are in a place where you are more the norm than the exception. Many of us live a life similar to yours...and it's very hard.

But, even tho you have pain you can have a good life. Does your doctor treat you with respect and help with quality of life issues? Are you able to talk to your primary care doc? Often they will counsel or just talk to you about 'stuff'. Be up front about going to a counselor you don't know. But also be willing to accept help. That can be very hard too.

Feel free to email me any time you'd like. Over there under my names <---, just click the little envelope that's lit up and I'd be happy to chat with you any time. I don't have any magical answers but am willing to share my experience. When my hubby and I were dating over 15 years ago I was so afraid he wasn't going to stay, that he would not ask me to marry him because of the illnesses I had at the time. Well, he did and next month will be 15 years. My illnesses have gotten worse and he's right beside me all the way. That's what happens when you marry your best friend. message: don't look for a perfect date or potential spouse. make friends and see where it goes.

Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 8/19/2008 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   

:-)  Thanks for your support and help everybody!!


:-)  Ladyred, your kind words were really helpful.  I felt much better after reading your post.  I like your idea about setting new goals based upon the limitations of chronic pain.  I appreciate your concern. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/20/2008 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Lonely,

I am very glad to be of help and I am very glad you felt better that makes me feel better smilewinkgrin and like I said anytime you need to talk you can email if you wish or just post. 

Have a good day Lonely!


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