“I can’t always control my body the way I want to, and I can’t control when I feel good or when I won’t. I can control how clear my mind is.”
Michael J. Fox, Actor with Parkinson's Disease
Coping Through Chronic Illness and Pain
Pain is not "just in your head." No pain is imagined.
Pain is processed in the brain, and the nervous system response can heighten pain and perpetuate the cycle.
There are therapeutic interventions that can work with the neuroscience of brain to help reduce the pain. On of these is an evidence-based treatment called pain reprocessing therapy.
Tell Me About Your Pain [Podcast]
Hosts Alan Gordon, LCSW and Alon Ziv discuss the treatment of Pain Reprocessing Therapy and respond to the experiences of real chronic pain suffers.
Healing pain by treating the mind, with Tor Wager, PhD [Podcast endorsed by the American Psychological Association]
Peer support groups are often run by those who have personal experience with the subject of the group. There are often local and online groups that you can attend for free. HeyPeers.com is a great place to start your search for support groups. This site also helps connect you with local resources and chat rooms. Sign up on the website, or access the service through its app.
Patient-centered pain management. New federal recommendations for pain management recognize the crucial role of psychological and behavioral treatment options. [Monitor on Psychology article from the American Psychological Association]
Curable offers insight into the way chronic pain affects the nervous system. Their app includes mindfulness tools to help begin rewiring pain pathways in the brain [website for the app]
HeyPeers.com connects you to peer-led support groups. Sign up on the website, or access the service through its app.
A Word About Online Resources
My hope is to share resources here that are useful. Although I do my best to keep information current, it is possible for links to become outdated or for material to change. A link is not an endorsement of a particular person or organization, nor do I receive any incentives from them.
Keep in mind that these resources are not specific to your situation and therefore are not therapy or a substitute for mental health services. Please consult your therapist, physician, or other professional support for advice that is specific to you, and call your local 24-hour helpline (988) if you are in crisis.