Living with pain is everyday life for over 50 million adults in the US. In the UK, chronic pain related to a variety of conditions affects 8 million people. According to the survey of chronic pain in Europe, approximately 100 million individuals struggle with the condition for a duration of 3 months or longer. In other words, it becomes hard to ignore pain when it is such a widespread issue.
However, pain management remains a taboo in most places. If you are living with chronic pain, it can be frustrating to share your experience with others. But perhaps understanding why the situation is still taboo can help you adjust your communication to finally get heard.
It’s a solitary journey
Pain can be invisible. Unlike a broken limb or a cold, most people who live with chronic pain don’t also exhibit any visible signs of their condition. Yet, that doesn’t make your pain any less real. Support is hard to find. So, it’s why people like Kevin Lucas who dedicate themselves to alleviating pain play a significant role in your pain management journey. Living with an autoimmune condition that causes pain, for instance, or with Fibromyalgia can considerably affect the quality of your life. Therefore, it’s crucial for your mental and physical health to find an expert who is studying your pain and understands your situation.
It never goes away
The clue is in the name. Living with a chronic illness means that it is part of your everyday routine, whether you’re having a good or a bad day. It affects your dietary choices, your fitness decisions, and even your hobby and work inputs. It can stand between you and your loved ones, making simple gestures difficult and draining. People who experience chronic pain also understand how much impact a change of lifestyle can have on their overall situation. It is a combat of every single day.
People don’t take you seriously
While this tongue-in-cheek article lists funny ways of illustrating your pain to your doctor, it also highlights one important issue. As pain is invisible, a lot of people don’t take yours seriously. Thankfully, you will find that doctors are more likely to listen to you and try to understand your situation rather than rejecting your calls for medicated support or a treatment plan. But talking about your pain to your loved ones can be a difficult conversation. Without any standard of reference, a lot of people tend to refer to their own experience to understand your pain. Unfortunately, someone who doesn’t know chronic pain will not be able to fully acknowledge or comprehend your suffering.
People don’t know what to say or do
Friends who want to help you feel better may not know how to address your pain. Some may want to be helpful by suggesting pain management treatments they have read about online. While it’s a nice intention, it can be frustrating because they assume that you didn’t know about those options. Others could choose to ignore your condition because they feel awkward about not knowing how to make you feel better. In the end, friendly support can sometimes make you feel even more isolated.
Managing pain is a difficult journey. But you don’t have to go through it on your own. You can find experts who are studying your pain and can help educate your relatives about the condition. Not everyone will understand your condition, so that’s why it’s important to trust those who are on your side.