Young and struggling to cope with the mental side of pain

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  AnnieD 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #46573

    Ian
    Participant

    Hello I’m 28 and this is very odd to me but my pain management doctor said this could be good for me so I’ll try anything at this point. I damaged my back in a work accident about 5 years ago I fractured a few vertebrae and some ribs but went back to work in a the brace they had gave me I’m a tree surgeon so u can imagine how my pain has increased and body deteriorated over those years I have alot of nerve damage and my pain spreads I’m just struggling to cope with it mentally I can physically do things if I’m not sore but i feel as if my body is betraying me because the next day/week I’m in so much pain and can barely stand over the sink to brush my teeth not sure what I’m after on here but thought why not. Thanks

    #46575

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Ian, Welcome your in the right place to talk about pain. I fractured and dislocated pelvis an had 2 spinal ops all in 1 year, i too have nerve pain/damage because of this,Also have SIJ problems and now with arthritis. constantly in pain just varying levels. I went back to work to early hence the second op and basically messed up the surgeons work,thats the trouble when your younger you think it all ok and your invincible.
    Anyway my advice on your mental health is to do CBT and mindfulness course,also do a lot of hobbies that you can manage and do to distract your mind and you can focus on instead of pain. This is what helped me out of a very dark place with suicidal thoughts also had PTSD. constant pain does come with depression and low mood, as pain slowly niggle away at you . there is a link at the top of this page under Pain relief, that you might want to look at and is very helpful. the trouble is what methods of medication and alternative medicine works for one person does not always work for another so its a case of finding what combination of things works best for you. and of course this site which has helped me no end just by talking to others who truly understand what living with pain is all about. we are a friendly bunch who all put together have many years and all experience what living with pain is all about.
    Just ask your GP about doing CBT and mindfulness to help you cope with pain also if your meds are not giving you enough relief /not working ,then ask for a review to try something else. let us know how you get on and can always ask for advice on here and someone will answer in time. take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46576

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Ian, forgot to mention about Pacing. pacing is a good to tool to learn as you can pace yourself to carry on all day without raising pain levels to much, its a case of listening to your body and learning when to stop before you put yourself into raising pain levels. its a fine balance between doing stuff and resting and stop. before your pain kicks into a higher level. it does take some practice and sometimes even I occasional over do things . best wishes lee

    #46577

    Helen H
    Participant

    Hi Ian
    just to say ‘hi’ and welcome you to the forum. It is so hard to keep going when your body is telling you not to. Lee gives very good advice in his answers.
    I also have nerve pain in lower back, pelvis etc, and it’s the type of pain that can really make you feel you are losing your mind- particularly when your family/ work colleagues/bosses/clients can’t imagine what you are going through. Until you have to live with this stuff you think it is just a matter of popping a pill and carrying on regardless.

    It can really take a toll on your mental health too…so you must tell your Gp if you are not coping. Anti depressants can be part of the picture, as can CBT or mindfulness. I have just done an online mindfulness course and wish I had done it years ago!!

    I agree that pacing is very important- particularly in finding out how much activity of different kinds your body can/can’t cope with before needing to rest. With resting throughout the day before pain gets to insane levels, you may find you can get more done without a huge flare up in following days. This won’t happen overnight. A simple diary with a note of what you have done am and pm and what time pain got worse/kicked in is a good start. For me this has been invaluable and made GP visits much more productive as I have info to inform me of how things have been over a long period.

    It could definitely be worth trying a TENS as they are cheap and really help some folk.

    Take care
    Helen

    #46579

    Ian
    Participant

    Hi Lee thanks for your reply. Yh its something iv always struggled with is accepting it my pacing is awful and something I need to work on for sure. I’m currently being prescribed 60mg of amitriptyline and it hasnt started to kick yet I need to Give it some time. I just struggle to get my head around the fact that this doesn’t end and in no way to be rude when I read these forums and people have 10-20+ years of pain all I think of is the dread of having to continue for that long woth what seems unbearable now I just want to do normal things without having to sit down every 5 mins lol not alot of help when it comes to mental awareness for young men I feel like I’m being pathetic and winey all the time and that makes me feel even worse πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ I will talk to my pain clinic doctor about the cbt she has mentioned ot before thanks again.

    #46580

    Ian
    Participant

    Sorry Helen sorry I hadn’t seen your reply. Yh I’m still very new to all of this as for the past years iv just cracked on assuming all would be well but u are right with the stress on how people perceive me i sometimes wish I had a arm missing so they could see it Haha I do have a few tens machines but I find that after I take them off the pain seems to be amplified sort of punishing me for making it. Thanks again

    #46581

    Helen H
    Participant

    Ian-

    My husband lives with chronic pain too, and we have both found Matt Haigh’s book: ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ has been helpful.

    Anyone living with any pain, be it physical, mental or both, is a hero in my book. Go gently and take it one moment at a time- none of us know the future.

    Helen

    #46582

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Ian, I/we do understand what your saying and that if your walking and look normal a lot of people think your Ok. what I hate is when people come up to me and say your looking well you must be on the mend, AAHHH it drives me mad. LOL,For me personally it is never going to get better only worse but I do not dwell on that. but all it is , is there ignorance to what your experiencing. pain is a hidden disability and unless your in that boat no-one but another person in the same boat will ever understand you.
    You must have a purpose in life,also something to get up for, no matter what it is, and something that gives you pleasure and enjoyment to help you carry on. find those things that you can do and manage to do as and when you can and you will be Ok regardless of living with pain, think here and now not the past or future take each day as it comes. as tomorrow is another day and hope its a better one for you.
    even with a Tens machine which I to use occasionally, you still need to pace yourself as a tens only masks the pain to help you cope daily it is no way going to cure you of pain it’s just another tool to help, same as meds, ect. I too am on amitriptyline for nerve pain it’s the only one I can take as i have either adverse reactions to or I cannot tolerate the side effects. take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46583

    lc
    Participant

    Hi , accepting this is who you are now, not what you was, is a massive hurdle to get over. and if your on the right track you will be able to accept it, and a big weight will be lifted from your shoulders. best wishes, Lee

    #46584

    Ian
    Participant

    Thanks for all your replies I can see why this site exists now. I’m just struggling to get to terms with it being a life long problem I still think I can find some sort of way out of it lol nice to talk about it with like minded people tho I always feel stupid,weak and pathetic talking about it I feel I should be stronger and just get on with it bit its getting harder and harder to ignore thanks again for replies πŸ‘

    #46585

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Ian, I used to think like that myself, but it is not doing you any favours thinking so negatively,It is just putting you into a deeper hole . you must think positive, yes i have my Off days so does everyone. but your are not stupid,weak or pathetic in what your talking about, you need to be a bit kinder to yourself and stop beating yourself up over it all. this is how you are at the moment and by speaking to people who have empathy, makes you a stronger man mentally than some one who is not in that position.with the things you have to deal with. you are already stronger than you take credit for, as you have found this wonderful site that you can talk to like minded and physical people that have experienced what you are going through. All Thanks and appreciation to Jan who set this site up. it is very hard to adjust as your brain thinks one thing but your body tells you otherwise,This is why I say the quicker you can accept it and stop having mental battles with yourself the better and easier it is to cope with, despite being in pain. It is all very difficult hurdle to get over, and it is very hard. keep talking that helps a lot.as they say a problem shared is a problem halved. and whatever you talk about is not a sign of weakness or stupidity it is because you are strong and want a bit of help, there is no shame in that. Ask your Gp or pain clinic to see if you can do CBT and mindfulness to help you cope more mentally with pain and go with an open mind about it. it will defiantly make you understand and change the way you think and will give you coping strategies on how you think about living with pain. You cannot ignore your pain but you can learn to live with it in a friendly non judgmental way and learn to accept that this is who you are at the moment. you always have this site a group of people to talk to you are not alone in this Ok. Take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46596

    Ian
    Participant

    Thanks again for the replies they’ve gone a long way. On a lighter side note iv got a bad cough and it feels like someone is kicking me in the back everytime I do Haha indent know if I should hold my back or cover my mouth πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ have to learn to laugh at it I suppose.

    #46598

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Ian ,Oh dear,horrible that isn’t it like when you sneeze and don’t know what to do first hold my back or stop the candles forming, Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone, although crying does help to relieve the pent up frustration and emotions, sometimes it makes you feel a bit better. nothing wrong in that.
    Take care and best wishes and hope you get some pain relief soon. Lee

    #46602

    AnnieD
    Participant

    Hi Ian – welcome to the forum, and the others have already given you a lot of great advice. I also think it’s really important for you to start accepting what’s happened, which I found incredibly difficult to accept after my accident for quite a few years – so you’re not alone! As the saying goes – When one door is closed, another is opened, but we need to be willing to get out of the hallway and open that door.

    Lee is our mindfulness guru, and since he’s done this, I’ve noticed a huge change in him on this forum – which is a positive advertisement! Plus this forum has been a godsend as there’s so many amazing people on here who are a great support!
    As Buddha wrote β€œThe mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

    All the best with the catch up with your pain management team.
    best wishes AnnieD

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