Living with chronic pain or illness

Living with chronic pain or illness

People living with chronic pain or illness can easily become dispirited and able to only concentrate on their symptoms and the affects those symptoms have on their lives. Chronic illness makes demands, brings on emotional reactions such as anger, fear, self-pity and blame and focuses people only on the hopelessness and negativity rather than on the management and living.

Negative feelings and feelings of isolation are common. They are natural reactions to difficult situations. Chronic illness and pain of all degrees can be consuming and emotionally as well as physically draining. Day to day coping, medications and other treatments become either frightening or just very tiresome. Seeing beyond all of this is tricky

Achieving a healthy balance between the life you want to live and the adjustments you need to make is essential for both mental and physical well being. To see the condition as just a part of life rather than the culmination of life. To see what you can do rather than what you can no longer do. This positivity is well known to increase adrenalin, therefore energy, reduce pain and encourage healing

A person’s life may be changed by a chronic condition. New activities may need to be sought and meaningful experiences found to suit one’s capabilities. But it does not mean one has to withdraw or give up to any permanent degree. If this were so then life would have no purpose or enjoyment, aspects that are vital if improved health and recovery are to have a chance. “Change is not a bad thing, it is what we do with that change that makes it good or bad”

Having the support of family and friends is valuable. Having the right professional support is crucial. For having someone to listen, talking things through, for emotional counselling, to use as a sounding board, to seek advice, for specific guidance in treatment and/or management, or for looking for new meaning and perspectives. Even from a physical point of view counselling can help in treatment – positivity and fulfilment themselves trigger endorphine release in the body, temporarily relieving painful symptoms.

Enjoyment, absorption, rest and positivity of life enables the body to rise about symptoms and pain.

Many people living with chronic illness and pain will find it hard to reach and sustain a positive outlook, but with both the professional techniques of an empathic counsellor and personal guidance it can be achieved, for anyone.

What we consider important will differ from person to person, we are all individual, whether it is love, family, friends or fulfilment. But we all have something and that something may be the trigger to improving your psychological outlook and state of mind, and as a consequence your physical state of health.

Optimum health does not necessarily mean being free of illness or disease. It simply means being the best we can be, and making the most of what we have.