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all in your head

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Has anyone else felt, before they were officially diagnoised that it is all in their head?? Was it hard for friends and family to understand?


  • i always revert back to this site because everyone that i know seems to have such a hard time understanding what i'm going through.I just had an argument with my best friend last friday because she thought i was making so much more out of things than i needed too.I don't think that people without back problems can really grasp the concept of being in pain and having a part of your body hurt so bad that it keeps you up night after night. I thank god every day for this site because without it i think i would be totatlly alone in my misery.
  • I had symptoms for 11 years getting worse and lasting longer every year. I am going for my first C spine Mri soon. But am struggling on how to communicate with my friends and family, they seem to get frustrated when I have a good day and think that I will be all better, then after that I have bad days:( Thanks for replying I feel really alone sometimes too.
  • I felt EXACTLY that way! I kept thinking I was being a big old cry baby. I have always had a very high pain thresh hold. Being the youngest of 5, and a tomboy, I played very rough as a child, never backed down from a fight (I have always been a sucker for the underdog and will take up their plight if unable to do so themselves).

    So, yeah. I thought it was all in my head. Even with the doctors, I would ask them if I was being a cry baby and the only thing they would say is "Call me when you are ready for your surgery".

    I finally called (after about 6 months of pain, the last 3 of which I stayed in bed and used a cane when out of bed, and lost about 45 pounds because I was in too much pain to eat) and scheduled the surgery. As soon as I woke up, I knew I had been an IDIOT for waiting so long.

    My suggestion is this: if you have pain, an MRI or other diagnostic report indicating there is a reason for the pain, and you have a doctor telling you that "yes, you should be in pain", then chances are, it's not in your head (if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck).

    Don't be an idiot like me and wait too long for the surgery. Because I did just that, I now have permanent nerve damage. My husband kind of gave off vibes like he too thought it was all in my head, or that all of a sudden I became lazy. The doctor must have told him something while I was in Recovery after surgery; ever since then my hubs has had a complete about-face in that regard.

    Nothing really at this point to tell your family until after you get your results. My suggestion is to have a family member with you when the doctor gives you the results; then they will hear his/her reply when you ask "and what kinds of symptoms should I expect with that? Would ________ be one or two of the symptoms?"

    As for your friends, your TRUE friends will be there for you regardless.

    If not, we certainly will be.

    Good luck!
  • I will admit that I used to be one of those people who thought "they are just looking for sympathy, etc". If you don't see a physical sign of injury (cast, sling, stitches) then how do you know someone is injured or in pain?

    I grew up with one grandmother who was helpless and always looking for sympathy and one who didn't want help no matter what. Same thing with my parents. I tend to be more self-sufficient. As a mother I also put everyone else before me - who has time to be in pain?? lol

    It is even worse when doctors tell you that they can't find a reason for your pain or that your injury isn't that bad. I've learned from experience that if you feel pain there is a reason, but sometimes it takes more than one doctor to find the reason.

    SOme days I wish the pain was just in my head and I sit there hoping that it is gone for good. Don't let other people get you down. Find a few understanding people and ignor the others. You can't change them so don't try.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I agree with all the above. I'm like Jeaux as far as having a high pain thresh hold. Even as a child. Like when going to the dentist, getting injections or whatever. I'll always think "if this is the worst pain I ever have I'm in good shape". Well that works for quick pain or something that doesn't last and last and last. lol. I was the youngest of ten kids so it was be tough or be killed I guess. lol.
    I've even tried to tell myself it's all in my head. I could complain about how my family doesn't understand all day but then in all fairness they treat me the way I always wanted to be treated...before. I never wanted to be petted or anything. I've always said "I can do it myself" or "I don't need help" so now that I sometimes need help I wonder why they don't offer..hmmm? The one thing that bothers me most is that I think I'm lazy because I don't do as much as I feel like I should. I'm guilty too of thinking other people should just suck it up and quit complaining. That was before too. Don't get me wrong, I'll still complain about how they don't help me but I understand too how it's hard to understand chronic pain until you deal with it yourself. I hope that your mri will give you answers for your pain but if it doesn't that won't mean it's in your head. That just means they haven't found the cause yet. Good luck
  • I know for me having pain, just not having a definite diagnosis - feels less than validating. I do question myself - am I making too much of this, is this how everyone feels as they get into their 40's?

    The doctor's do not seem to question the spastic state of my muscles - myofacial muslce pain - the lack of response my muscles have had to medications like zanaflex and botox. But no one has been able to tell me why they are in this state.

    Since me and and the docs have not been able to shut off my muscles - it still feels like I am in limbo - the old saying "once you know what the problem is, then you can create a solution"

    Don't get me wrong that myofacial muscle pain is very real and painful - but all the therapies between injections, PT and meds has not made a dent into my situation - so i wonder is their an underlying reason, why they have not responded.

    just my thoughts
  • Patti I hear you. I am very frustrated that no one has told me where the pain is coming from. As an accountant I am used to 2 + 2 = 4. I don't like "it might be" answers.

    I am also tired of being told things like disk degeneration is normal at your age - 44. I thought we were living longer. I hate to think what my spine will look like at 88!!

    I am determined to get the RIGHT answer no matter what it takes. My lawyer told me not to stop treatment because the courts look at that as not needing treatment if you can stop. I told him H*** no I won't stop until I have an answer and the pain stops. I'm not going to hope it gets better and then find out at 55 I'm crippled with pain because I didn't get the proper treatment.

    So if we hang in there and never stop asking questions I know we will get an answer - the RIGHT answer.

    P.S. The right answer is not necessarily the answer we want....
  • jeauxbert said:
    So, yeah. I thought it was all in my head. Even with the doctors, I would ask them if I was being a cry baby and the only thing they would say is "Call me when you are ready for your surgery". ...
    Wow, jeauxbert. That is exactly what my NS said to me after our first visit. I had an MRI from earlier this year for another issue as well as a recent one. They both showed the herniation and pressure. The doc said, "If you've been in pain this long, why wait?" I said I hadn't really been in much pain. Then he said, "Call me when you are ready for your surgery". I was ready to call this morning, but then it got better. I must have been being a baby :D

    Jessie, I hate the idea of someone thinking I'm making too much of things. But the bottom line for me is their opinion isn't going to make me feel any better. I'll try to take care of the real issues now and maybe deal with their opinion later.

    Good Luck and hang in there.
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