The Cost of Doubt, Disbelief, and Dismissal of Invisible Illnesses

...I stare blankly at him for a moment. He doubts the existence of us. He doubts the statisticians. He doubts the incredibly important IOM report that sounded the alarm on the numbers with chronic pain. As we sit here, side by side, he doesn't know it, but he doubts me. He can't see what is happening to the person right next to him. I am not not his patient, I offer no threat to his liability, yet he dismisses the reports of pain....

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A REVOLUTION without Us versus Them?

...The reality is that a divide currently exists between the person with pain and the medical community. While some regions are better than others, generally, most people with pain can tell you that when they interact with members of the medical community they feel patronized, dismissed, invalidated, psychologized, treated as a "drug seeker," treated like a second class citizen, and overall, stigmatized because of the condition they live with everyday. ...

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Can we REALLY change our biology to change pain?

Simply: Yes! We really can change our own biology in the pursuit of reducing chronic pain. 

It is amazing how much we use our bodies every day, experience our bodies’ sensations every day, and yet often know so little about how to have control over the biology of our bodies.

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The Soul of Mastering Pain

Pain. The word itself can make heart race and palms sweat. Those of us who suffer with severe daily pain know that this simple word has the power to torment our lives... Pain can change everything. Our story, like many others, involves intense pain, unanswered questions, worry, fear, grief, and loss.

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Is Irritability a Natural Part of Pain?

Irritability is key component of the agony of pain. Agony is caused by a brain activation pattern that engages our fight-flight stress response. It is there to help us survive and get out of a dangerous situation when we need to. Seeing that irritability is a natural event co-occurring with pain, we can be more compassionate with ourselves and others with pain, showing more patience with each other and less judgment. While it doesn't give us a free ticket to be rude, it can help us recognize that the irritability itself may not be our fault; freeing us from unnecessary guilt, motivating us to find a path away from the agony of pain, and towards a deeper state of calm.

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The Problem of Pain and the Goals for Mastering Pain

We've all heard the statistic--Over 100 million Americans live with chronic pain, which is roughly 1/3 of Americans.

There are more people in the US who have chronic pain than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined! There is ongoing research and inspiring annual awareness walks/runs for these diseases. There are entire wings of hospitals devoted to these serious illnesses. However, pain for some reason, seems to be left in the shadows.

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Stigma and Chronic Pain

Stigma of chronic pain is starting to grow in awareness. It is everywhere and few people with chronic pain go untouched by its mark--its disgrace.  It is not always obvious or overtly stated. It is most often experienced in covert messages...

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