Chronic pain is a major ailment that affects every single aspect of a patient’s life. Chronic pain is not a symptom; it is rather a myriad of signs and symptom which lead into major suffering for the affected patient. This suffering becomes more complex with the frustration of not being understood by others, especially their loved ones. Chronic pain patients are generally misunderstood by their health practitioners as well. Many of the treatments are not very effective and most medications cause side effects and add complications to the pre-existing condition instead of helping it. So what is the way out? What can help with this condition? Where does the healing come from?
In order to respond to this question, we have to compare different people who have chronic pain with similar condition and see why their presentations are different from one another. Many people with the same type of injury and/or condition have different levels of suffering from a similar condition. Why is that possible? If the conditions are similar, shouldn’t the levels of suffering be the same as well?
The fact is different people have different attitudes towards their conditions. Some take a passive approach, they rest most of the time and they withdraw from society and from any form of activity. The pain becomes the center of their existence. Depression, anger and resentment settle in and catastrophic disability, along with significant suffering, dominates that person’s life. Needless to say that this affects the whole family as well.
The other group takes an active approach towards the same condition. They incorporate things like exercise, proper diet and meditation into their life and work on strengthening their limited abilities despite the presence of chronic pain. They just learn to be functional despite its presence. This group show lower levels of suffering from the same conditions of the first group.
So the answer does not come from our doctors, our drugs or our families. The healing comes from within us, from our inside. The answer is in our attitude towards our condition. It depends on if we take a passive approach towards our condition, or we take an active approach. It depends on the Pain Centered life or the Active Centered life that we chose to live.
It may sound easy to say, but the reality is this: PAIN IS A CONDITION, BUT SUFFERING IS A DECISION.