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Chronic Pain and personality changes

retiredbosnrretiredbosn Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
Can anyone steer me to any studies that have been done concerning personality changes and chronic pain. I have been recieving some concern lately from loved ones who state that my personality has really changed over the past 8 years. I explained that it was largely due to being in pain all the time, and that at times it was just to hard to be nice to them. lol. Seriously though I have heard this before that pain changes the personality, makes us more somber, serious and depressed. Let me know.


  • Hello retired, OH yes chronic pain can change you soo much. and all of it is bad , People say they wont even talk with me without me snappin or just walking away. I cant deal with anything or anyone. And yes depression comes with it but us macho men wont admit to anything. I know how you feel just hand in ther and the only thing that helped me a little was neurontin. You need good rest and sleep; and that is hard to get with chronic pain or pain in general. Good luck and hang in there and remember it could always be worse lol mark thanks
  • Hi,

    Unfortunately I don't have any specific studies to refer you to.

    However, just from my own experience I can relate to your comments. It can be hard to plow through our days when in chronic pain. It can be frustrating and depressing thinking of the things we can no longer do that we once enjoyed, worrying about our future, etc. It can be exhausting to try to keep the smile on your face when inside you hurt. Chronic pain and depression seem to go hand-in-hand. Geez, now I'm bumming myself out!!

    My point is, you are definitely not alone. This site has been tremendously helpful to me when I need a little push in a more positive direction. Sometimes just knowing there are others dealing with similar/same situations helps me feel better, a support group that understands. This site and all the helpful members has been a lifesaver for me. Take care, Lisa
  • on this other than myself. I wonder how many times have I heard "I just want my Cath back?" from those close to me.

    But, at the same time, I've found that I've had profound changes in my self personality with each grief I've suffered throughout my life.

    I think back in my mind to when I was in my late teens and early twenties and how happy-go-lucky I always was. I'm sure the majority of us can look back to those times and remember feeling the same way. The world was my oyster and the sky was the limit. Back then, I was considered "bubbly" and my signature style was to laugh uncontrollably at the wrong time and taking those around down with me.

    But I've noticed as the years passed and another painful event unfolded in my life, my bubbles weren't so big and became easier to burst. It wasn't quite as easy as it had been to laugh uncontrollably when something silly happened. Looking back, it's like each event took just a little something out of me - some innocence, some security, some love of life, some giddiness - and the culmination of these events have changed my personality. We're constantly and consistently evolving.

    I understand that you're focusing on whether chronic pain is making us more somber, cynical and serious through the years, but if you really think about it, most of our chronic pain really begins just after we take our first breath of life.

  • I know that when I went to my psych and told him I was starting to experience severe anxiety, and that was not something I was used to, he told me that could be from the chronic pain.

    If you want to do a search on study abstracts, there's always pubmed!


  • Enough of this. Not everyone or most of us do not have emotional problems. Stop grouping everyone together. If you have problems, go for it, just leave the rest of world out of it.
    charry said:
    Most people who suffer from chronic pain need to be on an anti-depressant to compliment the pain medications unless there are contraindications to being on an anti-depressant.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    I am not sure of any formal studies, but all you need to do is search on Chronic Pain from a browser and you will find a lot of information about this.

    I know that chronic pain does impact your personality. Anyone that has had to deal with chronic pain, especially when it goes on for years understand this.

    Personally, I have seen many changes in my overall personality. For years, I dont think it really showed, but I know that in the past 10 years, the Chronic Pain Beast has unleashed its fury on me.

    The pain itself is just draining, but between the medications we are on and what chronic pain has done to us really changes who we are.

    I know that I am not as a happy-go-lucky person, I always still remain positive, because I know that that is one of my strongest defense in battling the Beast.

    What hurts me the most, is knowing what my medical situation has done to others, especially my immediate family. They have had to forgo so many different things because they know I cant do them.

    I feel guilty about this even though they understand.

    I cant say if medication is required to deal with this, but I do know that you can not do it alone. We all need help and many times its harder to get that from our family, only because we do not want to burden them.

    Support groups, and to me, Spine-Health is a large Support Group that offers so much in the area about what chronic pain can do.

    Sometimes its a matter of acceptance. I am sure that there are members who will not agree with this, but I realize that I have serious lifetime medical problems with my spine.
    I've accepted my medical situation and every day I try to find ways to deal with it and learn how to manage and control it.

    I can envision how I will be 10 to 15 years from know and its scary.

    So my strength comes from the fact that I know what I have and that I know I will not let it overtake who I am.

    Its not easy, there are so many times when all I see is darkness and gloom. I fight those times and remain positive always. That helps to get me by.

    So, to answer your question, Yes, no question about what chronic pain does to us I see it that we have two choices:

    1- Give up and just let chronic pain consume us.
    2- Fight it by always being positive, always looking at the bright side of our situations.

    Since I've been with Spine-Health, I can tell you just how much of a positive impact it has had on me.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com

  • I needed Cymbalta for nerve pain and it helps lift my spirit a lot. i personally like to be asked how I'm doing with my back and leg etc. rather than just pretend I was never sick. Friends from work have called and wonder where I am and they don't seem to realize what I'm going through though I haven't had surgery I've had 100's of injections and unrelenting pain. I'm trying to get myself to exercise and walk just a little when it isn't so cold here just to get the endorphins going to feel myself again.
    I noticed the percocet causes mood differences but I really can't see it but my husband can so I try not to take it so much just the extended relief medication. I can't go out dancing anymore so I've had to let go of some things that used to make me feel good but sometimes I play music and dance just to remember the feelings. I try to laugh and smile but it's hard I know. I hope you're feeling better and maybe it would help to talk to your Primary or a Therapist. I was lucky to talk to an online Therapist covered through my work and it feels good just to tell someone other than my family how I feel. I even come here to get a boost sometimes. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I sent you a PM.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • The animal diatribe was wow. That cuts through to your spiritual belief, I am not an animal, rather a special creation. Humans are seperate from the animals, not the culmination of some type of chance evolution. but that is another story all together. I will state that although I'm sure many of my relative swung in trees, they did so by their neck, not their tails, lol. I get what you are saying. I would like to state that I am not a negative person, I do all I can to stay active, fish like crazy, mow my own yard, take care of my kids, etc. I hear "stop that you are going to hurt yourself" a lot. So I'm not talking about me laying around giving up on living life.

    I'm talkng about some personality changes that have crept in despite being on guard against it. I've read somewhere that chronic pain actually changes some synapses in the brain, and pathways. Brain scans on chronic pain patients and non-pain people are radically different, from the way we process stimuli, information, etc. It is not a by product of pain meds but a change made by the body to deal with the pain. I am just wondering if there are any studies to back up what most people experience.


    Dude lighten up, the comment was that Most people with pain need help. Which is true according the the suicide prevention site, chronic pain patients are more likely to commit suicide than the general populace, and something like 90% of pain patients suffer depression. If you find yourself in the 10% that doesn't then great. The comment Charry made in no way inferred that all pain patients need help, most do.

  • that my personality has changed, my nick name was smiler, now my husband says i look like a rotweiler.
    im not sad but i dont have a lot to laugh about anymore.
    ive walked past a mirror or shop window and thought that woman looks old and angry, then i realise its my reflection lol.
    my hubby says i have a very hard face now where as i used to have a very warm, welcoming face. strangers always spoke to me and said i was very approachable, but now i think i must scowl without even noticing.
    feel like went to sleep one night and woke up with someone elses body
  • dave said:
    Enough of this. Not everyone or most of us do not have emotional problems. Stop grouping everyone together. If you have problems, go for it, just leave the rest of world out of it.
    They are not "emotional problems." They are changes in your brain chemistry caused by the constant presence of pain chemicals in your system.

    If you don't have them, then great- but there is nothing to feel defensive about- any more than if someone wrote "most people on chronic opioid therapy will have constipation." It's a medical problem, not a weakness.
  • shirley said:

    my hubby says i have a very hard face now where as i used to have a very warm, welcoming face. strangers always spoke to me and said i was very approachable, but now i think i must scowl without even noticing.
    feel like went to sleep one night and woke up with someone elses body
    Did you ever read those old studies about how the expression on your face actually affects the neurotransmitters in your brain?

    I remember as a kid seeing those old, bitter looking women and thinking that they must have frowned a LOT to get those frown lines, and I made some sort of pact to myself to smile a lot instead. It is harder these days, but that old pact comes back to me and I realize I am scowling for no reason other than I'm just struggling to get through my day.

    I always put a smile on my face then, even if it's a fake one, to try to avoid the frown lines ;)

    Seriously, though, I am still in general a pretty happy, positive person. Maybe even more so than before, because I can't afford to let negativism infect me for even a moment lest it take over. What I am not any more is a social person- it's all just too much to explain, and it takes too much energy. I stick with the people that understand.
  • I was thinking this very thought, the actual subject here, this morning, on the way to work.

    How pain seems to eat into the very being that is us. I used to be nice guy, I now have people ask me what is wrong or who I am mad at.

    I don't need a study to tell me what has happened,
    I am living it.

    I also find it disconcerting to read all the "suck it up and be happy" stuff. There have been any number of studies done that show that depression is deeper than that. As retiredbosn says, and links to, 90% of us get depressed. I find it very hard to just "be happy".

    I don't attack either, these people are, or were, my friends. I am moody, grumpy and scowl a lot. I don't attack. I just want to be left alone. Don't console me, don't pity me, just don't. All the tears in the world, all the pity, won't take the gravel out of my neck, the burning out of my ipg pocket, the winter out of WV...
  • People come here for help with their problems. How is commiserating with others who are experiencing similar "pathological lying?"

    I am surprised this thread took such a negative turn :( I thought it was interesting. And although the OP did ask for studies, it really did invite people to share their experience as well.
  • I'm sorry, but all I can think of in response to your loved ones comments are, "Well duh? Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation while the dentist is drilling into your teeth with no novacaine? Have you ever had relentless "brain freezes" deep in your back for hours on end? Has your foot ever fallen asleep in your middle back and you can't shake that feeling off?"

    I'll stop right there... I'm not being very nice. I'm not attacking, I'm not biting, I'm not growling, I may be calmly hissing a little bit... but in reality, I am being sarcastic.

    I have enhanced "moods" at times, but my personality hasn't changed. My way of getting through the bad pain spikes is silently. That's the way I have always been, when I've been sick. I keep to myself... I'm very quiet, in my own little world. I don't yell, I don't whine... my presence is more of being tired and sick.

    In all honestly, if my loved ones ever noticed a negative personality change in me... I would seek help at once. I seriously would. If it's just "one person" saying it, I would feel the need to ask others who I am close with... to see if they also are noticing a negative change in me. If there is no back-up to what the "one person" stated... just shoo the person away with your hand. Let them be gone for a bit and don't stress over it.

    Geeze Louise... I just read a new post on your thread. Where on earth is the definition of a pathological liar coming into place? I guess I'll have to read through the posts again.

    Any hoo...

    Are you still feeling a lot of tension in your house? If you are, maybe we could help if you shared more. I don't have any statistics for you... but we all come here to help each other and share.

    Take good care,

  • But then again, I was young at one time and very different then too.

    I am a firm believer that who I am today is directly linked to my life experiences.

    My best friend's mother (who I referred to as Mommy2) died when we were about 8. That certainly changed me. It was my first experience of losing a loved one.

    My favorite uncle died when I was 11. Then, my favorite sibling died in a freak accident when I was 13 (he had yet to turn 23). Talk about change...

    I married at the age of 19. Divorced 8 years later.

    A year after that at the age of 29, had my first child. Whoa! Talk about change! But this was LIFE, not death. I was single and determined to make it on my own. So I moved back in with my Mom who welcomed me (I mean "us") with open arms.

    Remarried at the age of 32. Had my second child at the age of 34. Both the man I married and the child we had together changed me.

    I lost my other brother 4 years ago; my father last Easter. My mother is not doing well....

    In between all this I have suffered chronic, unrelenting pain. Surgeries. Set backs galore.

    It is because of all these things that I am who I am. I've always been Moody. As a youngster I was never able to control my anger and the ease with which I would thrash/lash out at the focus of my anger.

    In fact, "I" am better now at controlling my feelings, emotions, anger, etc than I ever was. Well, except if I watch a movie on Lifetime network. Or a Hallmark commercial.

    I've always been sad; and I've always been happy.

    Add this chronic unrelenting pain and uh - well, by the end of the day I am aggravated. I just want it to stop. I want to get off my feet and lie down. Anything that gets in the way of that will get a look from me that says "BACK OFF".

    Oh, how I wish I were perfect. As far as I am concerned, perfection would just ruin everything. I would not be the strong, insightful, empathetic, sympathetic, nurturing, caring, loving and beautiful person I am today.

    I just want EVERYONE'S PAIN here on this forum TO STOP. NOW. TODAY. If I could, believe me you! I would make it stop in a heartbeat!

    Antidepressants make me depressed. I am taking no mood altering drugs (had enough of those in the 70's and 80's).

    Retiredbosn, I wish you luck with your independent study. Let us know your results?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    and some others have taken with this tread. It was an interesting thread and members posted with their viewpoints.

    As I have said over and over, we are all not going to agree with what another member says, but we dont need to go an offensive plan to stir up the pot.

    I do not want to see this thread heading in the wrong direction. I would much rather shut it down now before more negative is posted.

    I respect almost all of the members who have posted here and have known them for a while. I dont always agree, but heck thats fine.

    Please, let this thread head in a direction that can answer some of the original thread's question.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • TTLC said:

    Geeze Louise... I just read a new post on your thread. Where on earth is the definition of a pathological liar coming into place? I guess I'll have to read through the posts again.
    Tammy, I was wondering about that to. I read through and can't find a link?
    I am perplexed as to how the term pathological liar came into play? The top of that post was addressed to me. Is it aimed at me? then, am I a pathological liar? I don't see myself tooting my own horn about how messed up I am yet still I do EVERYTHING. I don't hold a prescription to narcotics, so that weapon of defense when one over does it is missing from my life. Maybe I am negative, so? what's your point? I work all day, I rebuilt walls, drywall, I installed new WELDED in rockers in our 97 Jeep, then fixed its failed CPS sensor, followed by a coolant temp sensor and throttle body cleaning.
    I don't sit and pity myself, I am rather disgusted by my lack of ability to be civil. I don't have a fall back, don't even know if I want one. fall back to what?

    I don't undrstand why someone who does not blow his own horn spends so much time telling others how bad he is and how well he does. just do not see it.

    postive thinking, I quit hunting long before the accident. It don't count. Fishing? I love to stand in the surf on the outterbanks and fish. Fresh puppydrum on the grill, yummy :) my son was so proud it was exactly the largest puppy drum you could legally keep! So, yeah I fish. I walk on the beach I go to Disney. I know I have depression issues, The only way to get past them is to do something. Some days, I am simply having a hard time getting past the repercussions of the previous day.

    I know, I know, to much about me.
    I'll stop, but need to ask Michael, what/why he thought tagging the pathological liar stuff on the end of a post to me was meant to do?

    Why is it if I post up here, I feel like I am peering into the maw of the beast? Knowing that a select few will read my posts, decide what I meant without asking for any clarification at all.

    Michael, I did go back and read his post. Did you?

    I have seen studies and MRI's of us. the patterns in the brain shift. some areas slow down, others go into overdrive.

    What is the differnce between someone who has left the work force, takes enough meds to function and can do things on his own schedule. compared to the person who must go to work on their schedule, do the tasks required of them, go home to a few muscle relaxers and an ipg pocket full of flame. I can do what I want to do, to the point it endangers my ability to go to work the next day.

  • And how they overcome the difficulties of chronic pain. I just know me and I'm not able to work now either but I'm trying my best to accept things and for me it takes time to get moving, find new interests and get on with my life. Sure this has changed my life and I want to see others overcome too. like when I used to go to the gym and one guy who lead the group came over while I was doing jumping jacks and he saw I was getting tired so he mirrored me and said Come on you can do this! I felt his energy and I felt my own strength rising up in me. I will get through this as I have through other things in my life. I just want to say I'm here to support you and anyone. Spine health members have helped me deal. That's all. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/54/5/693

    I find it interesting that they chose to focus on the fact that people with mental issues and chronic pain tend to go for more treatments to fight the pain than to help the mental issue.
    I skimmed so I may have missed some points but can see how it may be true.
  • Very cool, Wrambler!

    This one is very technical, but the interesting part is that when they did a temperament survey, conscienciousness was related to acceptance of the disability. It also reinforces the necessity of strong social support.

  • This one mentions physical changes.
    It also mentions being published in a journal, that I have not researched.


    This second link is the same story, but lacks the mri images.

  • I went to see my shrink yesterday, she told me how horrible I looked!!!lol Nothing like a morale boost. She is of the opinion based on her 20 some years of practice that for some the changes happen. I see a therapist at least twice a month, I've never wanted pity, I would rather to have people want to be me. I have enjoyed comments from people that I handle my condition so well that I inspire them! I've also have had cashiers ask if I'm in pain because I look bad. I guess it is like the one poster stated in more moods. Thanks to all who have posted, I guess I should also state that my condition hasn't stabilized yet, so I find that I may have to curb some activities for my long term benefit. Those of us who find that we have to slow down, still enjoy life and live it to the fullest.
  • I find this thread to be quite interesting. As has been said, we don't all have to agree in order to understand each other. It's like survivors of a shipwreck, they may be from all walks of life, but the shipwreck creates a bond like no other. Chronic pain does the same thing. It just seems that from time to time we forget that we all come from different walks of life and as Jeaux so nicely spelled out, our experiences in life are what make us and change us.

    I am one of those individuals, who believes in the mind being a very powerful thing. Research has shown that we only use a small fraction of our brain's total capacity. So even if (as some studies may suggest), changes can be seen in the brain of the chronic pain sufferer, does it sentence that person to depression or personality changes? Is it not possible that this same individual can find a way to rewire the portion of the brain they are using and not fall victim to depression and personality changes? No need to answer, just food for thought.

    Chronic pain is a physical, mental and emotional issue. How we deal with it is so unique to each one of us. Some can deal with all three aspects, some one or two and some still have difficulty with all three. I believe that as we go through this experience we continue to change. Just how we change and in which direction, is the big unknown. For myself, I have learned to not take life and others in my life for granted. I have gained a new appreciation for things that I never gave a second thought to or really thought mattered. I have met people along the way who are closer than I would have ever imagined possible. I have learned to do more with less and less with more gusto. I have learned that life is more about those around me, than it is about me. I am not perfect, never hope to be, but do my best each day to be the best person, friend, sister, wife and neighbor I can be.

    So my answer to you as to whether chronic pain equates to personality changes, yes it does. Positive ones as well as negative ones.

  • Bosn,
    The perception may be that pain itself has changed us more, we would all be different over time and pain in some cases only focuses our attention on the negative, we may surmise how more successful or rewarding not having pain might have been and constantly live alongside the person who we think we would have been had not pain intervened. Those experiences that make who we are, come from the good and bad of our existence and give some balance, it is true that we have to live in the reality of our situation and longing, wishing and hoping things were better, are inactive notions of improvement that change very little.

    Pain in all its formats does teach us things and just for the want of looking we may find some tentative route towards improvement irrespective that in reality for some and me this is a lifelong condition that I will need to adapt and deal with on a constant basis. The creation of every individuals pain is so unique that we need individual ways of improvement, we do share collective ideas of what may work, this is a process of trial and error.

    PM and CBT especially attempts to change how we deal with pain, for the most part it will not reduced the pain we have only attempt to help us cope manage and endure the pain we have, become more stoical and see more clearly those positive aspect that we do however limited have some control.

    Has pain changed who I am, it has made me see things in an alternative way, That comparison of who I am in my head is not reality just a figment of expectation, in comparing and contrasting we always focuses on the negative of what we have lost. Some academics suggest that chronic pain is a syndrome in itself although I would never go that far, those without pain are missing our on what we have learned about ourselves and life itself, we evaluate and scrutinise ourselves constantly.

    In supporting others we do initially need to empathise and some share the experience that they have so as to give some validity and authority to the advice given, many arrive here angry wishing to get it all out and more, hopefully it is a phase and they are entitled to express those imposed changes that may not be understood in an outside environment. Angst as Wrambler said, should have a finite duration, we are not supporting those who emphasise everything negative, we should encourage and support them to more forward, however resilient they are, it is not healthy to be static.

    Chronic pain has been described as a multi-dimensional phenomenon even when we think we have a firm grasp of how to manage it those additional layers make coping with it difficult, If in changing our behaviour we alter our personality in default is a moot point and far more difficult to compare, it would be reasonable to suggest that pain of this magnitude does change who we become, others may see physical and emotional changes in the way we have to cope. CBT can change some of our behaviour and assist us to live in a half full lifestyle.

    SH continues to focus on positivity, while giving opportunity for all to cope as best they can.

    Take care John.

  • Wrambler...

    I hope you read my reply to you (#14) on my most recent thread about X-rays?

    You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. I follow your posts and you are a real trooper.

    I have no clue on this "One Upping" thing. I don't see anyone telling another person that they have more pain than the other person. Well, that's not completely true. I have seen one member who feels they have more pain than anyone on this board and that is hogwash. Most of our members are here to support each other and share our struggles. I learn from others... I want to hear their stories. There is NO competition going on in Spine-Health, with the exception of a couple of people.

    You live with Chronic Pain every day and yet you manage to hold down a full-time job and support your family. That speaks VOLUMES, my friend.

    I will write more tomorrow, under my X-ray thread, so I don't hijack Retiredbosn's thread.

    You're awesome and don't you dare doubt that, or I'll be heading your way to give you a whoopin'!

    Tammy ;)
  • I'll send you a PM. :$
  • Thanks so much for the links. There is a long standing discussion here regarding whether it is the pain, pain meds or anti-depressants that cause my mood swings, and introversion. To me it is obvious that it is my pain, the depression comes from the pain, the pain meds are necessary for pain control, I'm more introverted due to my desire not to share my misery on bad days. When I go around people I want to have a smile on my face, be able to stand straight, and be able to have a conversation. I find the correlation between the pain and brain activity facinating. I am an extremely extroverted person by nature, and always have a funny story to share, when I'm having a bad day, I just want to be left alone. I'm sure there are those here who share my feelings. Thanks again.
  • I have no doubt that my own face is a mirror to my mood; but my mood is not a slave to my pain level. THANK GOODNES FOR THAT LET ME TELL YOU! haha

    I had an evaluation by a psych for the SCS. He kept trying to drum into my head that I hurt because I am depressed. Studies showed this concept, he told me.

    I asked him if his studies indicated a possibility that people are depressed because they hurt? He hated to say yes, you could tell. A classic case of "which came first" if ever there was one.

    I asked him if he thought for a moment that I would turn down his suggested "happy pills" if I knew for a fact they would make my pain disappear? I'd be the first in line every month at the pharmacy, let me tell you!

    So, in the end, we agreed to disagree. He asked me one last question: Do I notice that, on the days I am in a really good mood that my pain levels happen to be lower. I wish it were that easy, and based on his theory I would be in a bad mood at least 80% of the time. He truly just does not get it and really should not be at a Pain Management clinic in my opinion. I mean, I understand where he is coming from and all that, but his theories just don't apply in my situation. Because - although I am basically a shy person, I am generally in a good mood and I have noticed that my mood will sometimes affect those around me. Sometimes, without them realizing it. Not that I try to manipulate people - don't get me wrong - but I just like people to feel good and be happy. That's all.

  • I don't have any links, but I'm interested to look through the ones that others have posted!!
    I know that pain has changed me. Well, I have other issues that are in the pot, too, like the whole PTSD thing, who knows where the depression fits in between it all, lol.
    I have had chronic arthritic pain since my "tween" years in my knees, which only grew worse throughout the years. Then came the PTSD, 6 years ago, a leg injury, 4 years ago, and I've been a necky for 2.5 years. Up until the past 6 years, I was an extroverted, happy go lucky, always smiling, always laughing person, in spite of my chronic knee pain. Post PTSD, before treatment, not so much, lol. I became very introverted and didn't want to be around anyone, and everyone noticed. A lot of personality changes there. After some treatment, including anti-depressants, I got better, but the people who knew me well, said I was still not the same person I was before. Then, my leg and neck injuries, resulting in surgery, and my whole body just going downhill since, I've had a few set-backs. Now that I'm riddled with chronic pain affecting most of my body, the person I feel the worse for is my boyfriend. He has followed me, with my career, and at our current posting can't find a job. I have to work, and by the time I get home, I'm doubled over with pain, can barely walk let alone do anything, so to be perfectly honest, I spend most of my evenings laying down trying to get some rest, so I can get up and do it all over again the next day. Of course, in between rest periods, there are things that I still have to do around the house, and it's during this time that he unfortunately gets the short end of the stick, as I guess I can get pretty snippy. I apologize, of course, and he tells me to go lay down as he knows I must be in worse pain than normal.
    My boss, whom I've known for about 7 years, we actually worked very closely together while on tour at that time, has told me she has seen a huge change in me over the years, and knows exactly when I'm in pain, as it shows on my face, even though I say I'm fine.
    So yes, after all this rambling, lol, my point is, it has affected my personality.
    The one thing I've found interesting too, though, is the circle that dealing with pain creates. It starts with an injury, which causes pain, which can lead to depression, which creates more pain and can cause anxiety, which causes muscles to tighten and creates even more pain. The whole situation has the possibility of causing PTSD in some patients, and between the neurological effects of the chronic pain, along with the PTSD, has actually been linked to fibromyalgia, and then you're just in a whole world of hurt, lol, pun intended.
    It is so hard to maintain a positive attitude while going through all of this, but I do believe it is oh, so important to do so. The power of positive thinking carries so much weight in our health. When I start feeling negative about this situation I now find myself in, and start getting snippy, I take a step back, a deep breath, and remember, hey, I'm home, I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, doctors and meds to help me, and I never have to go back to the hell-holes that I've been to and have seen with my own eyes, those people that don't have all that I do, and suffer from physical and mental afflictions on top of it all. Once I remember that, I make myself smile and think, I really do love my life as I have it, as I truly am blessed compared to others. Which also shows how this has changed my personality, as I never used to have to make myself smile and remember that. Sorry for the novel, LOL, but that's my story, and the way I see things.
    Be well, all!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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