People living with chronic pain sometimes get into an automatic and unconscious way of living that I call the chronic pain trance. For some people this means becoming hopeless and helpless and mistakenly believing that their life is over. Others try to cope with their situation by embarking on a quest to find the right pill, while still others try to find someone to rescue or fix them.
In some ways the chronic pain trance resembles depression, and the relationship between the two is very intimate. Pain is depressing, and depression can cause and even intensify pain. People living with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing coexisting psychological problems—usually mood or anxiety conditions—and depressed people have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain.
If you are stuck in your own chronic pain trance you can avoid these types of self-destructive coping mechanisms and move out of the problem and into the solution by changing course and going on a trance-breaking adventure.
Adventure? Yes! This can be an exciting adventure. The word adventure has many definitions. The one I like is: An unusual or exciting experience. However, another definition for adventure may also apply if you aren’t careful and prepared; that definition is: An undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been excited about a personal growth or self-help book that I obtain but then after reading it nothing was much different. This changed when I started practicing what I teach my patients to do. Instead of just “reading” a book I encourage my patients to treat it like a text book or instruction manual that they’ll be tested on periodically. Why periodically? Many people including me have learned how to prepare for a test by cramming, but after the test usually forget most of what they were trying to learn.
To get the most out of this journey to breaking your chronic pain trance you’ll want to have guides and other helpers to make your journey as safe and comfortable as possible. These need to be both professional healthcare providers as well as friends and mentors who understand what you are going through and can be there to help you on this journey.
Most importantly I believe is learning as much as you can about your pain condition and what will lead to successful treatment outcomes—Knowledge is Power! However, a lot of knowledge without footwork is not near as good as a little knowledge that is put into action. The choice is yours—please choose wisely.
To learn my views on getting the most out of life while undergoing chronic pain management, please check out my article Living Life to the Fullest as we Face Adversity that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are once again presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on February 24-26, 2011 once again in our new office space. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you or a loved one is undergoing chronic pain management, especially if you’re in recovery or believe you may have a medication or other mental health problem and you want to learn more effective chronic pain management tools, please go to our Publications page and check out my books; especially the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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