August 23, 2017

Chronic Pain Denial

[frame align=”left”]Chronic Pain Denial[/frame]Chronic pain is a complex condition that is difficult to treat. Chronic pain differs greatly from acute pain because it is a persistent and nagging problem. The nervous system remains in activated state sending signals constantly. Pain can be widespread or concentrated in one area of the body. Sometimes an injury such as a sprain starts the process. However, chronic pain is usually associated with other diseases like arthritis or cancer. Chronic pain is characterized by an ongoing and lasting sensation of pain in one or more parts of the body.

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Chronic Pain Denial by the Person Suffering

Often, the person suffering from chronic pain enters a state of denial that consists of several parts. Initially, they may try to ignore the pain and believe it will eventually leave on its own. However, this stage is usually short, and they seek treatment. It is difficult to manage pain without interference from the medical sector. Unfortunately, many doctors quickly prescribe addictive pain medication without planning for the future of the patient. By not preparing the patient concerning proper medication management, they go home unprepared to deal with this problem on a long-term basis.

The person suffering from chronic pain denial may not be accepting or understanding their dependence on the medication. The mixture of physical, emotional and psychological needs complicates the situation. The person with chronic pain denial may falsely believe they cannot exist without the medication or that it is curing their problem. By ignoring the uncomfortable thoughts associated with chronic pain, denial is simply a defense mechanism. Denial allows them to ignore the actual problem associated with the addiction to pain medication because they falsely believe they are not addicted. Some addicts think they can stop anytime, and others believe that they are in control. In reality, the medication controls the life of an addict.

Chronic Pain Denial by the Medical Staff

Sometimes the medical staff that surrounds a person suffering from chronic pain is in denial. They may be too busy to notice the symptoms of addiction, or they may falsely believe that the person has the situation under control. Unfortunately, addicts become adept at switching doctors and pharmacies to avoid being caught. In addition, since chronic pain is a serious issue that is hard to treat, many doctors are willing to prescribe more medication because other treatments do not work. In their attempts to help stop the suffering of a patient, some doctors have ignored the obvious signs of addiction because other alternatives did not seem feasible.

Sadly, most doctors do not spend a great amount of time interacting with their patients. It is easier to write a prescription, collect the payment for the appointment and move on to the next person on the list. They may be in denial that the pain medication they are prescribing will turn into a difficult addiction for the chronic pain sufferer. Although there are exceptions to these cases, they are rare.

Chronic Pain Denial by the Family

The family that surrounds a person suffering from chronic pain may also be in denial. They may have a hard time watching their family member endure agonizing aches and pains, so they welcome the relief that pain medication brings to the person’s life. However, they may not realize the powerful hold of the addiction on the person. Many addicts learn to justify their need for the medication and can easily explain why they are using it. Chronic pain is a difficult condition to treat, so others accept the pain medication as a normal process.

Eventually, many family members realize that the addiction is becoming an issue for the chronic pain sufferer. They may try to intervene and will be met with resistance. An addict is going to deny that they have a problem and assume that the people around him or her are simply confused or crazy. It is easier to continue in a state of chronic pain denial than accept that the pain medication is becoming more harmful than helpful. Addicts will continue to lie to themselves and everyone around them.

Overcoming Chronic Pain Denial

It is difficult to get past denial. The human ego is fragile, and everyone has lied at one point in his or her lives. Addicts are more comfortable existing in a state of denial rather than facing the harsh truth that they have become dependent on drugs. During a confrontation, the addict will vehemently refuse to accept that there is a problem. It may be difficult to convince them to seek treatment, so professionals may be needed.

Denial is a safety mechanism and a comfortable defense for addicts. In order to get past the addiction, they must acknowledge they have a problem and try to find a solution. Chronic pain sufferers must learn other ways to manage their long-term pain.