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It’s not just physical, the realm of chronic pain is a scary place

March 21, 2014

For six years, the main thing Penney Cowan heard about dealing with her pain — some days she couldn’t hold a coffee cup — was that she’d have to learn to live with it.

Many people said it to her, including doctors, but nobody told her how.

“First of all, it looks impossible,” says Cowan, founder and executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association, which is based in California. “Imagine knowing that when you get up in the morning the pain is still going to be there, and if you get out of bed it’s going to get worse. Pain is depressing, and when you’re told to learn to live with it, it just closes the door.”

Cowan is a living example of how the relationship between chronic pain and emotions is intricate and perhaps misunderstood by many who deal with it.

People who suffer from chronic pain are three times more likely to have mental health issues than those who don’t, according to Harvard Medical School. And the emotional fallout from the chronic pain may make it worse. Click here to read more…

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