How Chronic Pain is Related to Psychology and Mental Health

How Chronic Pain is Related to Psychology and Mental Health


Chronic pain is pain that usually lasts for a long period of time. This type of pain can be caused anywhere in the body. Pain can be present at all times or can go and come continuously. The flow of daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, taking care of oneself or others, etc is hampered due to chronic pain. While experiencing chronic pain, our nervous system gets wound up and reacts with the incoming signals instantly. Thus,  it causes a lot of sleeping problems and also anxiety and depression which tends to make the pain worse. This is a never-ending cycle. 


Along with our nervous system, pain, anxiety and depression pass through similar passages and share the same mechanisms. Chronic pain is closely linked to psychological well-being, emphasizing the connection between mental well-being and pain experience.


Depressive and anxious states strongly predict the development of chronic pain, while depression and anxiety negatively affect psychological well-being. People often think of chronic pain as a physical sensation. In fact, chronic pain is a combination of biological, psychological, and emotional factors.


Additionally, chronic pain can cause feelings of anger, hopelessness, sadness, and anxiety. If you want to treat pain in an effective manner, the physical, emotional and psychological aspects should be addressed. Chronic pain may be treated with medication, surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy as well as psychological treatment.



Seeing a psychologist for your Chronic pain:



According to the best psychologist in India, it is possible to cope more effectively with pain if you understand and manage the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that accompany it and actually reduce its intensity. Psychologists are specialized in helping people to cope with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which are associated with chronic pain.


With the help of a psychologist, we can address pain catastrophizing. It usually occurs when you tend to focus on the negative effects of pain increasing the feelings of helplessness.  Negative pain attitudes and beliefs frequently result in poor emotional and social functioning, as well as a reduced responsiveness to pain-relieving medical measures.


The psychologist usually will asks about the type of pain that you experience, from where it comes from, when it occurs, and what is causing it. Furthermore, they will be asking you about all the worries or stresses you have, including those related to your pain.  They may also ask you to fill a questionnaire in which you will be asked about your negative feelings and they will be recorded as well.


Psychotherapeutic treatments are commonly used to help people manage chronic pain:


1) Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talk therapy that helps you change your thoughts and behaviors related to pain, as well as improve your coping skills.


2) In mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), participants learn to accept pain and discomfort without feeling threatened or judged.


3) Hypnosis for pain (hypno-analgesia), a process that changes your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by using subconscious suggestions.



The psychologist will be able to develop a treatment plan after gaining a comprehensive understanding of your concerns.As part of the plan, relaxation techniques are usually taught, old beliefs about pain are changed, and new coping skills are taught, as well as dealing measures of anxiety or depression that may accompany pain. Therapy or counselling helps you identify and challenge any unhelpful thoughts you have about pain.


A psychologist can assist you in developing new ways to think about and deal with problems or mental issues caused by pain. Distracting yourself from pain can sometimes be helpful. The best Psychologist in India can also help you develop new ways of thinking about your pain. Psychotherapy has been found to be as effective as surgery in treating chronic pain due to the fact that psychological treatments can alter the way your brain perceives pain.


After only a few visits with a psychologist, many patients are able to manage their pain better. Those People who are suffering from depression or  any other long-term degenerative medical condition may also benefit from a longer course of treatment. The duration of treatment will be determined by you together with your psychologist. The goal is to help you cope with your pain so you can live a productive life. Some of the tips to cope with pain are:


  • Stay active,
  • Know your limits,
  • Exercise,
  • Make social connections,
  • Don’t lose hope,
  • Follow prescriptions carefully. 



“Will the pain ever go away?” This question is usually on people's minds. Answering this question is difficult due to the variety and types of chronic pain syndromes, as well as individual variability. Various approaches have been shown to make a difference in people managing chronic pain, like cognitive and behavioral interventions, staying active, practicing meditation, and working with your doctor to find effective medical and procedural interventions. The more interventions you try, the more likely you are to find one that works. 



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