If you suffer from chronic physical pain, you understand the significant impact it can have on your life. Simply trying to perform everyday tasks creates an undue amount of stress and pressure.
Chronic pain that is unable to be diagnosed and unresponsive to traditional medical treatments could be the result of a mind-body condition known as tension myositis syndrome.
The condition occurs when repressed emotions cause an activation of the autonomic nervous system. This creates a very real physical pain that should not be dismissed by those who don’t understand.
The Connection Between Chronic Pain and Social Isolation
When a medical diagnosis cannot be reached, some people in your life may begin to question the validity of your condition.
Chronic pain sufferers often feel like nobody understands what they are going through.
You may find that you have trouble trusting and opening up to others. It’s not unusual to withdraw from social situations and avoid contact with family and friends.
Although this is completely understandable, it may be causing further roadblocks to your recovery.
Impact of Positive Social Bonds on Pain Reduction
A recent study by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that there is a definitive link between physical health and the presence of strong social bonds. Loneliness and isolation cause the body to increase production of the inflation-inducing “stress hormone” cortisol.
This inflammation can further exacerbate pain and discomfort caused by tension myositis syndrome.
Other studies have found that face-to-face social interaction reduces the risk of depression.
While communicating with others through email, social media, and over the phone is better than being completely isolated, there is significant value to making real, in-person connections.
Strategies for Forming Social Bonds
Recognizing that you have started to isolate yourself is the first step to reversing the situation. Working with a therapist or life coach, you can identify the root of your trust issues and develop strategies for overcoming them.
Meditation is helpful for calming the mind and reducing the situational anxiety that often occurs during uncomfortable personal interactions.
A support group can be one of the best places for chronic pain sufferers to meet and connect with others. It is more likely that these individuals will understand your pain and empathize with your feelings.
This makes it easier to open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable when you are ready to do so.
Sharing your experiences helps to create an immediate bond and camaraderie. Listening to the experiences of others reinforces the fact that you are not alone in your situation, creating additional positive benefits.
Are you suffering from untreatable chronic pain? Contact me today to discuss your situation and learn how I may be able to help.