By Laura Smith, PsyD
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.
People with pain aren't considered "survivors" in our national culture. Instead, they are often ignored or even suspect of being, "drug seeking." It has become a stigmatized and isolated existence for many. Everything changes when you can no longer do the things you used to. Not only do physical limitations disrupt routines, finances, and even life goals, but they can also disrupt one's identity. "Who am I if I can't provide for my family?" "Who am I if can't pick up my child?" People who live with chronic pain often have to go to as many doctor's appointments, have surgeries, grieve the life they once had, and have ongoing treatments similar to other major medical illnesses--and with no guarantee of cure. People with pain are hard working soldiers in the fight to survive their pain, and to live well despite its unwelcome presence in their everyday life.
Similar to many other chronic illnesses, feelings of exhaustion and helplessness can creep in and make it difficult to keep going. Without awareness, education, access to care, or inspiration things can quickly get dark. Mastering Pain Method was developed out of a response to many of these barriers. To provide validation that your pain is real and we know why (see here). Bring the latest research in easy to understand language and skills to help you bring down your own pain intensity and agony, without introducing more medications. To be a community of support for each other. And to provide data tracking forms and skills to communicate more effectively in order to improve relationships with family, friends, and health-care providers.
All of this is a part of having chronic pain. We hope that you will join our community of people who “get it.” The entire goal of Mastering Pain Method is to help you
- find reprieve from the pain
- find calm from the agony associated with pain
- increase your vitality, decreasing the negative impact of pain
- and finding empowerment instead of living with stigma.
Together, we hope we can change the global conversation of chronic pain from stigmatized to survivors, thrivers, and masters. Working to improve awareness, increase hope, and inspire change.