If you're dealing with chronic pain, you probably already know what a devastatingly lonely experience it can be.
Even with the most supportive family and friends, you can still feel alone because they don't know—they can't know—what it's like to endure chronic pain each and every day of your life.
See Open Letter from a Person with Chronic Pain
You may feel sick and tired of explaining yourself and having it affect all the most important relationships in your life.
This is where online support groups come in—an online discussion forum where people with the same kinds of pain are dealing with the same things you are.
- Visit our online Forums for back and neck pain support.
These groups provide you with a circle of friendship, support, and camaraderie to help you through the worst and celebrate the good times as well. These people won't tell you it's all in your head, they won't keep asking if you think you feel better yet, and they won't mind when you just need to vent.
Contrary to how many people view online chronic pain support forums, the people in these groups are not whiners and attention seekers. On Spine-health.com's back pain forums and social media, we find people are almost universally constructive, supportive, and at times downright hilarious.
So what are the main benefits of participating in an online support community?
- Community members can validate your feelings—no, you're not crazy nor imagining it!
- They give you hope, even in your deepest times of need.
- They spur you on to keep coping and looking for pain relief even after you're exhausted and want to give up.
- They help you with daily living problems. Should you get a shower seat? How do you arrange the pillows at night to get back support? What are recipes that are easy to prepare and nutritious?
- They are available day or night. Up with intense pain at 2 am and feeling all alone? Log on and you'll have company—your online friends can help you get through the night.
- And sometimes, best of all, you get the satisfaction of helping others. You can reach out to others when they post questions, need an emotional lift, or just need to talk.
A good pain management program and other approaches can hopefully help you from a medical perspective.
And if you're really depressed, take care to get help from a professional right away.
And by all means, don't forget to take good care of your emotional, spiritual, and psychological health too by finding a good support group.
You may have to visit a number of discussion boards and chat rooms to find one that suits you best, but it will be well worth it. If you prefer to meet in person, contact your local hospital or your pain management physician and they should be able to give you a list of local chronic pain support groups in your area.
You will be amazed at how many people suffer from the same pain and related challenges as you do, and how refreshing it is to meet others in such similar situations. Cyber hugs to all!