Emotional Coping Skills

Gender, pain, and intimacy

We all know the typical “I will fix it” response that many men are prone to take when their female partners talk about being in pain. Adopting a “fix it” approach does make some sense. None of us wants to see our partners suffer, and it is right in line with time-honored theories about pain behavior–… Read more »

Getting control of panicky feelings

Barbara is pleased with how she manages her chronic pain by using medication, exercise, and meditation.  But at times she will have a sudden feeling of panic, causing her heart to race.  When this happens, Barbara struggles to regain control. It’s not unusual for some people who cope with chronic pain, to feel occasional, sudden… Read more »

When your brain helps the pain: Cognitive therapy in action

As they say, the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. But what about pain? We all have that, too – although some feel it more than others. And some people with chronic pain conditions have a 24/7 pain problem that can be ruthless. How do they handle it? Medication isn’t the only answer: A person’s… Read more »

What’s the worst that could happen?

What is catastrophizing? Have you ever woken up with greater-than-normal back pain and thought, “Oh no! It’s going to be a bad pain day!” Your attention is completely on your physical pain and you can’t possibly get past the experience. Then, your mind goes on a journey of its own. Are the following thoughts familiar?… Read more »

Ways to reduce anxiety when you have chronic pain

Anxiety is a state of uneasiness and distress often about future uncertainties. It can also be a resulting symptom of stress. If you have chronic pain, your body and mind may feel under attack. As a result, you are likely to feel worried or apprehensive about many things. Feeling anxious about your health and your pain is… Read more »

Pain and depression: Break the cycle

It’s common for people with chronic pain to have depression. Depression can worsen and prolong pain. Pain and depression together can take control over a person’s thoughts and feelings with more pain leading to more depression, creating a cycle that is difficult to break. Not everyone with chronic pain is depressed, but about one out… Read more »