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Do shrinks really help????

It was recommened by my new PM to see a shrink. I have no problem with this other than it needs to be one that can see that the chronic pain contributes to my state of mind. After weeks and weeks of searching I have found nothing. Just the same answer everytime " come in and we will see what we can do" @500/hr. My PM does not seem to know and even calls to Johns Hopkins was met with " you have to go through detox" ( not to mention they don't take my insurance).

I am already taking a ton of meds and I am not to thrilled to take more. I already take Cymbalta.

Can anyone out there shead some light on this?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    But its a little harder finding one that is somewhat familiar with the impacts chronic pain can have.

    Its easier talking to a counselor about your fears, what troubles you the most, etc...And that dialog can be very helpful.
    I've been to counseling twice, once it didnt help and the other time I find it very helpful. I think also the fact that this person was the spouse of my physiatrist. He could understand how chronic pain plays into a person's behavior and emotions.

    Look for a counselor that has some experience dealing with chronic pain patients. And most importantly, if for you to go
    into any session with a complete open mind and opened to suggestions.
    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 have been getting help with clinical depression for almost 18 years, and a couple of things I have learned:
    There is a difference between seeing a "shrink" and getting counseling
    If you are referred to a psychiatrist, their main function is to treat you medically with medications, the appointments are brief and just about physically treating the depression
    They will recommend seeing a counselor as well- this would be a psychologist. These are where you have the one hour appointments, and this is where you really talk things out. It can sometimes take a while to find someone you feel comfortable with. Don't be discouraged at first, and keep looking until you find someone whose style you like. I have had many counselors through the years, and it takes a while to establish a relationship, for you to tell your "story" and really share. I agree about finding someone who deals with people experiencing chronic pain. Once you find someone you like, it is extremely helpful to have someone outside of your personal life to vent to, to throw things out there and share things that may upset those close to you. I highly recommend trying it out and be open to it, and patient with the process. I wish you the best
  • MrGrouchMMrGrouch Posts: 108
    edited 12/23/2012 - 6:00 AM
    I was lead to beleive that this PM clinic had ones that they refer people to. This is not the case. It is difficult to find one as I am finding out the study of chronic pain and phisological conditions is rather new. This seems odd as if your in constant pain how can you be the life of the party so to speak. I looked for psycologists for years and found none in this area. There may be but they neither advertise, telll there receptioist, or say so over the phone. I am sure there are in the local large metro area but calling 1000 doctors is not an option. My depression is directly linked to my pain, nausa, and fatigue. When all of those are low I am in a good mood, outgoing, and feel 'normal". Unfortuantly not only the pain cause the other two but so do the medications ( Lyrica is the worst...sucks the life out of you and gives you Alzhiemers symptoms).

    BTW: The first visit is 1 hour and $500 or more
  • I've been seeing a therapist since before my pain, without her I wouldn't have anyone to vent to, I have my mother but its different taking to a mother then someone else. She's so wonderful of course this has the topic of most of my sessions for a while. My former doctors at my former pain clinic always suggested some sort of chronic pain group but I couldn't do that, I'm not comfortable showing my feelings to people (even family) having her to talk to is as close I'll get to a group because I have no problem showing her my emotions, it took a while for that to happen. I think finding someone to talk to would be a really smart idea but not someone in a big fancy office someone more comfortable (Victoria works from home). My mamas looked through the yellow pages, make sure to talk to them personally on the phone you can get a feel about them within minutes of talking with her my mamas knew she was the one for me, it's not like talking to a therapist or doctor with her it feels natural like she's a true friend, she tells me many times how she feels for me and how she has a motherly instinct with me sometimes. Remember find someone you feel comfortable with for me it had to feel like they where the one I could relax with. Good luck finding someone if you choose to :-)
    be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind ••• Dr. Seuss
  • If the medication is not working at best it may only ever take the edge off where the side effects become more invasive that the relief provided.

    It is very hard not to be thinking of pain all the time when it is constant breaking that cycle will help you cope and manage the pain more effectively over time, finding what works for you does take time and effort, it may well increase the pain for a short period that may be related to pacing where people rush into things it increases pain and then they stop, in reality only you can manage your pain all those individual benefits together will make the journey better, we all have no easy solution that is why we are here.

    Good luck and take care. John.

  • MrGrouchMMrGrouch Posts: 108
    edited 02/10/2013 - 5:40 PM
    After months of looking and calling I finaly got an answer and it was confirmed by multiple sources. Bad news for us I'm afraid. Well the shrinks, both drug docs and therapists, really have no training or any reference for dealing with chronic pain patients. Up until the last 5 years the mental aspects and the physcial aspects were treated and looked upon individually thus no mental health professional school teaches anything on this subject. It is common sense, your in pain your mental state is bad, how many people feel like going to a party when your in pain.
    Well the answer I got was directly from the Johns Hopkins Pain Clinic. I got transfered multiple times and when I finally got to the department that dealt with this I found out that, and I qoute," It is new and is currently being studied in clinical trials" with voluteer human ginuea pigs that are locked up for 30 days. As usuall they are looking at this with a scientific outlook( which eliminates common sense, and this is comming from an engineer). I was also told " there is no specific training out there for menatl health professionals to deal with this subject" I got the distinct impression that this matter is still looked at with a very narrow view, either menal of physcial. From what I heard I really doubt there will be any advances, as I got the very frustating impression that everyone I spoke to did not have a clue. I am sure if one of the scientists suffered from this it would be. However as an engineer I can garrutee that they would not be removed as they would have a "biased" view.
  • Just like there are good and bad docs, there are good and bad therapists. I have found that it is best to find someone who has actual PERSONAL experience with chronic pain. Psychology Today (it's a psychology journal magazine) has a great website where each therapist can write a little biography about themselves and you can email them or call and talk to them about their experience. Tell them you don't want to waste their time or yours just to find out if you guys will "match" with what you are looking for. Most therapists respect that, especially if you don't have insurance that covers it. If they don't respect that--they are definitely the WRONG therapist!!
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