Handling Chronic Illness & Chronic Pain
Chronic illness and chronic pain are two different things, although both can occur at the same time. For example, a chronic illness such as osteoarthritis can cause chronic pain. However, the two can also appear separately. Regardless, while the symptoms of a chronic illness or chronic pain can be managed, they still take an emotional toll on you and psychological issues can result.
Chronic physical pain can be also be caused by symptoms that are psychological.
NOTE: This doesn’t mean that the pain you’re experiencing isn’t real or that it’s “all in your head”. As well, there are mental health issues that are known to cause physical pain in addition to emotional pain and chronic pain. These include:
Mental health symptoms associated with coping with a chronic illness:
When is it time to get help?
Dealing with chronic illness or pain can leave you feeling frustrated, hopeless, and exhausted. If you find that you’re not coping well with your pain or illness, or that you’ve tried “everything” and are desperate to try something else, it may be time to seek support from a therapist.
Chronic pain and illness treatment methods
There are several treatment methods that have been shown to be effective in handling chronic illness and/or chronic pain, they include:
- Grief Work Therapy refers to the methods used in counselling that help people to grieve loss and understand their emotions associated with the loss in a healthy way, with the ultimate goal of moving forward.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy encourages clients to accept the difficulties and misfortunes of life. Clients learn coping techniques to not dwell on negative emotions by staying in the present.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is defined by EMDR Canada as an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems that utilized bilateral eye stimulation or somatic responding.
- Emotionally Focused Therapy is based on observations and experience. It looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interaction.
- Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy can allow clients to travel deeper into the unconscious or subconscious to look at and work with issues and ideas perhaps inaccessible otherwise. It’s like guided daydreaming: a form of relaxed concentration.
An evaluation by a qualified therapist can help determine the best types of therapy for your personal situation in order to work through the issues brought about by your chronic illness or those causing your chronic pain.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
While we can’t cure your physical pain or illness, we can work with you to fins ways to cope and possibly reduce what you’re experiencing. Insight Psychological has convenient locations in which to best serve you. Contact us today to set up an appointment to meet with a licensed therapist.