When you have chronic pain people often think they understand you because they know you personally but then when they say something insensitive towards your pain it show they really don’t understand. They never will understand what your going through because untless you have personally gone through it and can understand it to a certain extent but you can’t fully understand the pain If you want to be supportive of someone living in pain you have to not only learn what not to say to somone with chronic pain but also know the myths out that there that people are saying that are simply not true. In this post I bust some myths about chronic pain that you may believe that are totally false.
We are drug seekers- When you have chronic pain all you want is relief but unfornately most people don’t see that way because all they see is you getting more medications to manage your pain that doesn’t seem like it would be that bad. Chronic pain sufferers don’t seek out opiods or any other medications of that matter but sometimes we have no choice if we want manageable pain levels. Some chronic pain sufferers use opiods to manage and some do not have to but regardless of what we use to manage pain we don’t see drugs out and if there is a way to manage pain without medication we opt for that option. Medication often has tons of unpleasant side effects so if there is a way to manage pain without medication we are going to explore that option first before trying any medication.
You’ll get addicted- It is so sad that we live in world where we have to assume everyone are addicts because this has done a huge disservice to chronic pain sufferers! There are some people that will get addicted to their medication but there are a lot of people that won’t and need to opiods to manage pain but because of the few people that have abused the use of their medication chronic pain sufferers who take medication responsibly are being denied treatment. It’s unfair to treat everyone has addicts because many people who have no history have addiction don’t like how it makes them feel and will get off those medication as soon as their doctor gives the word. Whenever I am having surgery and need opiods to manage pain I am usually given it after being talked to about natural remedies which is great but not always effective for severe pain. Not everyone gets addicted to their medication and it’s sad we have to assume this because it’s an act of Congress to get certain medications if you were to need them to manage pain! Without these medications it become difficult to manage pain so you can’t live fulfilling life.
Exercise will make it better- I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that maybe the reason I have chronic pain is because I am not active and to consider doing some more cardio or hitting the gym more. Working out often makes my pain worse so exercise the cure of chronic pain and it doesn’t matter how much I hit the gym it may make me more fit bit ut will not cure my chronic pain. If exercise cured chronic pain there would be no such thing as medication and doctors would just tell you to go workout! Light exercise like Pilates or Yoga can be helpful for some people with chronic pain helping keeping them strong so they don’t get week and pain doesn’t worsen but let me be clear exercise will not miraculously cure your pain.
Just be positive it’s all in the mind- We need to stop saying this to disabled people and chronic pain suffers because it can be extremly damaging to ones’ mental health! Chronic pain or disabilty it not caused by being too negative and although having a positive can help you through a difficult situation it will not cure it. I don’t know any chronic condition that was caused by being too negative so stop telling disabled people that it’s all in the mind because some people may legimately think that but instead encourage tham to get real medical help if they are struggling.
You went to an event yesterday- What many people don’t understand about chronic pain is that pain levels flucuate and even though you were able to go to a event yesterday it doesn’t mean today you will have the energy to do the same thing today. Pain levels changes from day to day and it can be somewhat today and unbearable tommarow. It is very common for chronic pain sufferers to not go to event two days in a row and take a rest day because one short event can cause pain flares making them unbareable. It doesn’t matter if you went to event yesterday because pain is always changing from day to day or even hour to hour that there is never a dull moment!
Chronic pain sufferers exaggerate their pain- You can’t see chronic pain so people often think chronic pain sufferers are exaggerating their but it’s quite the opposite and sufferers often downplay their pain to make those around them more comfortable. If we told our real pain levels to friends and family they would be shocked and might not believe us so we down play to make those around us more comfortable. If anything we don’t exaggerate our pain but downplay it because more often than not people without chronic pain wouldn’t be able to handle our real pain levels.
Naps fix everything- Naps fix everything but chronic pain and there is this huge myth that if you take a nap and you have chronic pain you will wake up feeling better. If that is the case and one nap cured your chronic pain then you never had chronic pain to begin with. When you have chronic pain you often struggle with sleep and will have a lot of restless night because of pain but taking a nap on those tough days will not make this all better and cure your pain and all a nap is going to do is help you catch up on sleep but often it will have zero effect on your pain levels. Napping can help you get through the day if you struggling so I highly recommend it for chronic pain sufferers to don’t sleep well during the night but it won’t do much of anything else.
You’re lazy-People often think that because chronic pain sufferers don’t do much throughout the day it means they are lazy people but it’s everything but that. Pain takes all your energy from you so often you don’t have the energy to do anything except sit and watch Netflix and pushing yourself to do chores would be a mistake because that can worsen pain putting you down for weeks when you would have only been down for days if you took the time to rest.
When it comes to disability or chronic pain there is often more than that disabled people might not be telling you. Even though you can’t seen someone’s pain it doesn’t mean they are having a good day so always listen to disabled people because we want to be heard and it will make you more knoweledable about pain. It’s so easy to fake a good pain day so never assume someone is doing well by big they are smiling because the longer you are in pain the better you get at faking it for others. Check in with your chronic friends every now and then and learn about pain and stop believing the myths that are simply not true. Did you believe any of these chronic pain myths and are their any other types of myths you would like me to bust? Please let me know in the comments below because I love busting myths!