Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Support for You to Manage Your Chronic Pain, Injuries or Disability

by: Dr. Lila Hakim, C.Psych.


Our rehabilitation and health psychologists can help you to address the psychosocial impact of pain, injuries and disabilities in your life.

Pain

Acute and chronic pain can be a serious and debilitating life issue. Pain is often associated with physical limitations that require life adjustments. Pain tends to be accompanied by a wide range of emotional issues including depressed mood, low motivation, hopelessness, grief, anger, or anxiety. In addition, we may experience problems with concentration or memory as a result of pain and low mood or anxiety. The experience of pain can have an impact on how we view our selves and our sense of autonomy, which can affect our couple, family, and work relationships.

Disability and Injuries 

Regardless of the manner in which a person is injured, whether gradually through a work-related task, or suddenly such as through a slip-and-fall or motor vehicle accident, there are a host of emotions that can occur that can affect engagement in everyday life activities (e.g., socializing). In the case of a sudden injury, a number of traumatic stress symptoms can occur, such as nightmares and flashbacks. Avoidance of important activities, such as driving, can also serve to worsen our emotional state and sense of autonomy, and affect our recovery. 

Regardless of the manner in which a person is injured, whether gradually through a work-related task, or suddenly such as through a slip-and-fall or motor vehicle accident, there are a host of emotions that can occur that can affect engagement in everyday life activities (e.g., socializing). In the case of sudden injury, a number of traumatic stress symptoms can occur, such as nightmares and flashbacks. Avoidance of important activities, such as driving, can also serve to worsen our emotional state and sense of autonomy, and affect our recovery. 

Engagement in physical treatments can be affected by emotional issues such as traumatic stress, low motivation, hopelessness, or anxiety. Considerations about returning to the workforce and how to engage in life roles (e.g., parental, couple) are important to resolve. Accessing support from friends and family can be difficult at times, resulting in the feeling that nobody understands your pain and limitations.

How We Help You

At CFIR, we help you to cope and manage your experience of pain and adapt to your injuries and disabilities. In terms of your pain, your experience of pain is influenced by our thoughts, emotional reactions, and everyday stress. Certain ways of thinking and emotionally reacting to the world can heighten the perception of pain and intensify the pain we are experiencing. Environmental stressors, relationship problems, and a lack of social support can also influence how we view our pain and limitations. We will help you to address these psychological challenges, including making lifestyle adjustments, to support you to cope with your pain. In terms of your injuries and disability, we will also help you deal with the psycho-social aspects of your injury and disability by supporting you to adapt your lifestyle and build new skills to deal with your physical incapacities. We’ll also help you deal with the grief, helpless, hopeless and anxious feelings that can accompany changes to your physical health status.