Is It Just In My Mind?
Posted 19 February 2007 - 11:49 AM
Does anyone else think this could be the case? because I figured out, you can't really have pain unless your thinking about it. So I've been trying to shut out the fact that I have scleroderma and sometimes it does work (i think... unless thats just when my legs, etc. actually don't hurt)
I suppose I'll never know the answer haha! just thought I'd see what people think about it.
Posted 19 February 2007 - 02:25 PM
It is rather true, in some respects, that we can't feel pain until we think about it. That's because the brain can only process one thing at a time. So I am a wholehearted believer in distraction as part of a pain management program.
However, for me it takes complete, involved distraction -- not idle distraction like watching TV, which for some reason seems to exacerbate pain for me. But engrossing hobbies and work (even volunteer work) that require a lot of concentration are a pure pain relief for me.
The only real problem is when I come up for air -- breaks, mealtimes, pure relaxing times, when it can seem like a sudden onslaught of pain. My guess is its the same pain that's been there all along, but I was just too absorbed to notice it.
Another issue is that at certain times in illness, we can be way too wiped out to do anything that is absorbing; even reading a book can be too hard. Those times, I just aim for the most absorbing thing that I am capable of doing -- especially listening to soft music which has its own restorative properties -- or I sometimes resort to medications to get things under control enough to be able to tackle more demanding tasks.
In my book, hobbies are the very best thing for pain relief, especially hobbies that involve creativity of any sort, since creative projects tax every part of the brain.
I'm sure many others will chime in with proactive approaches they've developed to deal with various types of pain. But of course, we also need to explain our pain to our doctors since sometimes treating the underlying condition can make it go away completely...or a least, for a little bit.
So no, I don't think the pain is in your mind, it is definitely in your body...but our minds can only pay attention to one thought at a time, so sometimes we are successful in defeating or overcoming the pain signals. And sometimes, no matter how good our intentions and our effort, there is just no getting around a good ol' fashioned "interesting bodily sensation" (aka pain).
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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:06 AM
Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:11 AM
Posted 27 February 2007 - 01:49 AM
I'm trying a different tactic. It probably sounds silly, but here it is: I'm trying to make friends with the pain. I'm altering my thinking so that when I have pain, instead of thinking negative things like, "I hate this, it hurts so bad, I can't stand it" instead I try objectively describing the pain (to myself in my head) - like, "here is that hip pain I get when I'm riding in the car. It feels like somebody is giving me shots in my bottom." and tell myself "having pain means I'm alive so I will welcome the pain as a part of living".
I can't really explain it, but having a welcoming attitude towards it seems to be helpful, I guess because when I have pain and then have a bunch of negative thoughts about it, then I have pain AND a bad mood! This way I just have the pain.
Posted 27 February 2007 - 08:37 PM
Are you taking anything for your arthritis pain? I have adjusted to a certain amount of pain in my life some of the time, but most of the time, my pain is well controlled by my medicines.
Are you seeing a rheumatologist who understands arthritis and scleroderma?