Sometimes, life may seem to be far worse than death for people suffering from severe chronic pain. If pain lasts longer than six months, it is called chronic pain. A significant proportion of the human population is suffering from chronic pain today, where most sufferers are above the age of 40.
Chronic Pain And Caregiving – How To Stay Connected?
A person suffering from chronic pain may not be able to undertake the journey alone. They need companions, friends, families, and caregivers. The hard times of pain are not just physically challenging but have catastrophic consequences on the mental health of both patients and caregivers. However, caregivers act as frontline warriors to battle against chronic pain and act as a catalyst to skyrocket the patient’s recovery rate.
The persistent pain and difficulties a person faces due to chronic pain can affect their social life adversely. Therefore, to avoid issues and complications with friends, family, and colleagues, communication becomes an indispensable part of the improvement and non-disruption of social relations.
There are numerous methods and factors both caregivers and patients must understand to stay connected.
Understanding The Boundaries
Your friends, family, acquaintances, and other loved ones who care about you, want to help you in any way possible. However, their unconditional efforts to make a patient feel better may sometimes take a toll on them.
The caregivers need to understand that there is a fragile line between helping a person suffering from chronic pain and medical intervention which can sometimes prove to be counter-productive. Hence, knowing the right balance between caring for a person and giving them their space becomes significant.
It is an undeniable fact that living with a person suffering from chronic pain can be tedious, and can make you feel helpless and powerless. Despite wanting to help that person so desperately and having all the necessary resources, you are unable to do anything but witness that person suffering from pain.
However, you can help that person by providing them a safe space where he or she doesn’t sense a feeling of being different. Moreover, the caregivers are advised not to overly care for the person, and allow them to do the things which they can manage by themselves, which helps in rehabilitation.
Tackling With The Frustrations And Resentments
Anyone living their life in unmanageable pain for a long time, which may sometimes last for years, can become frustrated by their life; they may feel a sense of resentment. The continuous frustration and resentments may not only affect the life of the patient, but also other family members. Even the spouse/partner may find it difficult to adjust to the new responsibilities and roles they need to handle.
Sharing your thoughts and emotions with your partner can help you avoid relationship problems and overcome any barriers to communication. Irrespective of the fact that a person is genuinely in pain, complaining and talking too much about the pain can lead to strained relationships. The relationship, communication, and emotions will become more pain-oriented, rather than focusing on other significant factors of their day-to-day lives. Therefore, how a person and their partner deals with the pain becomes crucial.
What To Do When Social Lives Get Disrupted Due To Chronic Pain
It is widespread among chronic pain sufferers to cut themselves off from their social circles and connections. But both the sufferers and the caregivers need to understand the situation properly and be flexible enough to communicate between themselves, for the much-needed moral support and motivation to the patient.
Although the physical pain may be transient, when we talk about chronic pain, we frequently overlook the significant emotional misery and sadness that a person must endure while fighting the pain. As a result, it’s natural for someone to feel defeated, isolated, and inferior.
There will often be times when a patient can’t go to parties and hang out with their friends. This inability to join the social groups against their will can arouse a feeling of letting himself down and inferiority. However, it is advised to the sufferers that they should stay in touch with people and not leave their social circle as friends and family are the constant support, which will keep them cheered up throughout their arduous journey of chronic pain.
Five Ways You Can Practice Communication Around Pain
Practice the pain management techniques and methodology that can help you reduce your pain significantly through optimistic conversations and interactions with friends, families, and even random people.
It is significant for caregivers to maintain the balance of support and care towards the sufferer.
Instead of complaining too much about the pain, a patient should accept his condition and try to deviate his mind from the pain with the help of recreational activities and always staying occupied with something.
Optimism and a positive environment where you have conversations of gratefulness and improvement can bring promising changes in your condition.
The pain isn’t just a mental manipulation; the brain indicates that a part of your body is paying because there is some inevitable complication there and it is indicating us to do something about it. People often create a misleading notion of the pain being a mental manipulation and try to avoid it by keeping calm. It would be best if you believe your body mechanism and respond accordingly; you don’t need to put unnecessary efforts to avoid pain or ignore it holistically.
Eventually, the journey of both caregivers and sufferers is not a piece of cake. Both need to understand each other’s emotions and intentions behind their daily acts. Tough times and situations can be tackled with consistent communications and interactions with your partner. Moreover, optimism towards life is significant for both patients and sufferers; otherwise, the consequences can be catastrophic.
PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.