It’s natural to feel down but you don’t need to carry that hurt and sadness with you every day. Our goal isn’t to replace the medical support you may already receive, it’s about learning how to thrive despite chronic pain. Many patients find that managing their condition makes them more resilient. Chronic pain affects you but it doesn’t have to control you.
Chronic pain persists for more than three months, causing exhaustion and stress. This can lead to depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, and sleep difficulties, worsening the situation. Unlike acute pain from injuries like cuts, bruises, or fractures, chronic pain persists continuously, possibly originating from a specific injury or infection. The brain receives abnormal messages from the nervous system long after the original condition.
Medical conditions like arthritis, coronary disease, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and nerve damage can also cause ongoing pain. Sometimes, chronic pain has no clear cause, but it remains very real for the person experiencing it. Common types of pain include back pain, headaches, and joint pain, which can significantly impair work and day-to-day tasks. It can make you feel like you’re losing control of your life, leading to reduced socialization and withdrawal from favorite activities due to fear of re-injury.
Extreme sensitivity to touch, heat and cold
Trauma and stress make a pain disorder worse for both you and your family. You may feel tired all the time, which affects your ability to do things you normally enjoy.
Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
If you’ve been struggling to stay focused, or have become easily irritated, there are steps you can take to feel rejuvenated and happy again.
How can psychologists help people with chronic pain? In our practice, we treat many patients with chronic pain. We see that lots of people have created stress for themselves by feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. Our role as psychologists is to help manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and improve your quality of life. We often collaborate with healthcare professionals who specialise in physical pain symptoms.
Where and when you experience pain
Whether anything makes it better or worse
Things in your medical history (illness, surgery) that may be important.
We’ll also ask you to discuss any stress or anxiety and how much your pain affects your routine. Usually, we will give you a questionnaire to help record your feelings and thoughts.
Once we have worked with you to identify what’s contributing to your pain, we can then develop a personalised treatment plan.
When you’re coping with negative emotions, it’s easy to get stuck. You might feel like nothing can help and that this is just how your life will always be. As psychologists, we can provide you with self-care techniques. These aim to help you stay positive when living with a long-term illness and manage chronic pain. The way we approach pain depends on each person and takes into account age, general health, the kind of pain and its cause (if known). Psychological therapy may form a part of a wider strategy from other professionals. It might involve medication, physical therapies and lifestyle changes. With chronic pain, medicines are not always effective. However, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are often prescribed for nerve pain.
In short, how you deal with your emotions directly affects your pain experience. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, stress and problems at work or home can make the pain more challenging to cope with. This can cause muscle tension or spasms, which may worsen your pain. Stress also contributes to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
Many lifestyle factors that you can manage yourself help both physical and mental symptoms.
Regular low-intensity exercise (of a kind that’s safe to do with a chronic pain condition)
Following a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet
Getting enough good quality sleep
Our evidence-based treatments will teach you various self-care techniques to control stress and give you a new perspective on pain.
Counselling and psychological therapies also help you develop coping skills and change how you think about pain.
You can learn how to pace yourself during each day and talk to others about why you need to take time out for yourself. Pain management means doing things differently. Gradually you can reintroduce the activities you used to enjoy as your energy levels improve.
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When you feel like there’s no end in sight, we can help clear the fog. Rather than letting your feelings and worries drag you down, you can use some of the strategies mentioned above to help you stay positive. There is no universal way to treat pain that works for everybody. How each individual reacts to different therapies varies dramatically. So, it’s important to know what is available for chronic pain and how each of the treatment options works. Book an appointment to discuss how to find support and relief while living with chronic pain.
Is stress taking over your life? It doesn't have to be that way. Our team is here to help you explore options for reducing stress and reclaiming your life. Don't let stress rob you of the things you love. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can support you in managing stress and improving your overall well-being.
If you're having trouble getting restful, quality sleep, you've come to the right place. As leading sleep specialists in London, we can help you overcome your sleep struggles and start waking up feeling refreshed and energized. Don't let sleep issues affect your daily life any longer. Reach out to us today and let's work together to improve your sleep health.
If you suspect that you're struggling with the effects of trauma, our therapists are here to help. We specialize in a range of evidence-based therapy models that have been shown to effectively manage the symptoms of trauma. Don't suffer in silence any longer. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can support you on your journey towards healing and recovery.
Therapy sessions can be conducted either face-to-face or virtually, depending on your personal preference. You can opt to begin your sessions online but may choose to have an occasional in-person session or vice versa.
Regardless of your preference, our priority is to accommodate your needs and preferences.
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