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Emotional pain vs Physical pain

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,587

I am sure by now, you have read many of my comments about this as well as read for all of my moderators and so many other people that talk about how difficult emotional problems are.

In many ways, there is always a pill that you cant take to help with your physical pain.   And please, I am not talking the amount of opioids not being enough or anything about that subject.   I am just saying physical pain always has an out.

Not true with emotional pain.   First of all, the person must realize by themselves that they have an emotional issue about their pain.   It could be family matters, job matters, income, etc   There are so many different parts of life that can become difficult for a person in chronic pain.   We can tell the person to seek help, we can suggest that they need to look beyond the physical pain.   I know we have done this many times with members here.   I know many other members have also suggested this.   And I read about how much benefits members have received by seeing a counselor.  But does it happen?

One of the problems is that the word counselor,  psychologists., etc..  People feel that is a bad term, makes them weak, makes them think that other people will think less of them.  They think about this and the word Shrink comes into their mind.   And we know that that term does have its negative overtones.

When you are weak from physical pain, that becomes draining.  It drains and saps so much out of you.   You begin to lose patience, your tolerance level has changed, you entire outlook on life may be different now.   All the opioids and other spinal medications are not going to correct that.   You need to work with medical professionals who deal specifically wit these issues.

I have commented to some members about seeing a pain counselor.   They quickly come back and said, Oh Yes, I saw one, didnt help.  To me, that says they really didnt see anyone or if they did, they didnt like what they heard and quickly dismissed them.

I know this is a medical Spinal site, with a primary objective is to provide as much accurate medical details about conditions, diagnosis and treatments.    While Veritas-Health does talk about depression and coping, I really believe more attention needs to be focused there.  Not only by the site, but by all of us

Im never afraid or embarrassed to talk about counseling, I've been there, I know how much it can helps.   So many others have been that same route.   I think one of the better pieces of support I find here are from the members themselves.    So, its not like you are hearing just from the moderators, (cause so may believe we have to say those things)

But when valued members such as n2braves (Cindy) talks about the benefits of counseling, I always hope that people listen and listen carefully.

Seeking help that is beyond physical assistance should never be looked at as being weak.  In fact, I think that the people who will seek out counseling are Stronger people.

Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • Ron, I couldn’t agree more! I really wish emotional treatment began before the surgery was ever done. With the depression rate at 80% after spinal surgery. What most people don’t realize and truthfully aren’t told, we are in for a major lifestyle change! That includes families, employment, kids and grandkids, Things you can no longer do. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t sticker shocked after their surgery! God knows I wasn’t ready for it. Yes I went to therapy after my deep depression. It made me look at things a little differently. It wasn’t until I finally accepted my condition completely that things began to change. Do I fear or worry about my next surgery? NO, even though it will be worse then the original I know what to expect afterwards. The first time I had no clue now I do!..David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • Ron

    You and David are right, emotional problems for me are harder to deal with than the physical stuff, for me this last 1 1/2 years has been tough physically and emotionally, like you said we have members that think we as moderators have to say certain thing's, that is not the case, my situation in the last little while has changed greatly, had to quit my job, 2 surgeries in less than a year, recent diagnosis of RA to go along with OA, surgeon talking about another back surgery and now my wife which is our only support is losing her job in July, so yeah it's been tough, but I have found so much support from this forum, Ron, David and Sandra know I have had a couple of meltdowns in the last few months, having somebody to listen that understands is invaluable for me and I hope it is for all of our members.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,484


    Great topic. As most know, I have been seeing a pain psychologist for over 4 yrs.  Not from surgery or pending surgery but living with chronic pain. I am not a candidate for surgery yet every disc from L1-S1 is ruptured. I have to live with this, and not just the pain, but what the future holds. This new diagnosis threw me down the rabbit hole again. I have had to use the tools he gave me to climb back out until I see him next Thurs.

    Everyone is different. Some choose a psychiatrist, I chose a psychologist. I prefer mindful thinking over medication. I have learned acceptance and tolerance over guilt and anger. I encourage anyone that has a hard time accepting where they are now to please seek help. Like Ron said, in a way, be strong, be that person that wants to help himself/herself. 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • DavidGDDavidG Posts: 1,040
    edited 05/18/2019 - 8:58 PM

    Just my opinion, but if we can’t change our physical pain then we certainly can change the way we think about it. I think of my pain as a educational tool, I’ve always been healthy until I was injured. Now my eyes have been opened in so many different ways. I know a referral to have MRI on my knee can easily be rejected with a swift swipe of a pen! Just wait till MONDAY lol but the great thing about my throbbing knee is it makes me forget about my neck! So where there’s a negative, there’s a positive! I’m positive my insurance company will hear from me on Monday! Humor does help!!


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • But Ron! 

    Men cant talk about emotional pain because western society says we have to be stoic and strong and not show pain and fear..

    conversely not show fear of pain to the outer world,our families and peers.! Dang the torpedoes! Full speed ahead..

    Meanwhile..those pesky topedoes hole the hull and soon enough.Capt denial has to deal with why his boat is grounded and he is no longer capt.

    Its not only a man's issue in that aspect,

    Another is that of denial of facts.wishfull thinking that this is momentary and a.(fill in the blank) will fix it and life will return to normal. 


    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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  • Great topic.  

    Tough morning for me today.  All mental.  My back was sore this morning.  The reason is because I had PT two days ago.  I am pretty sure I over did it.  My back needs more rest.

    Then my mind starts going to messed up places because I am thinking about the past.  I think about what I should have done differently?  Why did I have this surgery?  While my back ever get better?

    Then my mind goes to thinking about the future.  Will I be able to feed my family?  Will I go on disability?  Will I ever be able to participate in life with my 4 & 6 year olds?

    It's hard to live in the moment and concentrate what's in front of me.  I say my prayers and try to make a conscious contact between God and me.  I find so much relief when I live in the now instead of letting my mind go off.  But it is so hard.

    Today is going to be a good day.


  • Vegas I hear you clearly! It’s hard not to think of the past. Unfortunately some try hard to hang on to it but fail. I always like to use the analogy , look through your windshield and not your rear view mirror......David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • So much good and powerful stuff in this thread. I have discovered a meditation app that has completely changed how I think about pain and stress. I still have overwhelming emotions at times, but knowing I’m not alone on this journey and having tools available is very helpful. And, to William’s point, it’s time to find a new normal.

  • Bagdobs, you’ll find out from members here that your never alone on this journey. The members here don’t allow solo trips on this journey!.....David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,484

    One thing I have learned from my psychologist is, every day, write down 3 things you are thankful for. After a while go back and read them. What you find will make you smile and and make you realize there are good things going on in your life beside pain.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
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