Psychologist's advice for managing pain

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Psychologist's advice for managing pain

Postby GilmoreGirl » 09 Feb 2017, 11:44

Hi all,

I've been dealing with fissure an for 6 months now, and it has caused me to totally revamp my life - I went from a very fit and active personal trainer and grad student to lying in bed most of the day, unable to sit or walk without pain.

Because of this, I decided to see a chronic pain psychologist to help me with some strategies to deal with the pain, and also with the loss of my old life.

I just wanted to make a post to share some of the strategies we've discussed, since I know so many of you are in similar situations. I also have ibs - and I find these strategies help to prevent stress from increasing my symptoms.

1. Deep breathing/body scan/ meditation

I was surprised how helpful this is...I've never been one to really go for this kind of thing but it really does help calm down racing thoughts and even take the pain down a level or two. We went through a process of "body scanning" - moving from head to toe and concentrating on relaxing one body part at a time, while keeping deep breathing as an anchor. I was also told to focus on a soothing colour, and imagine the colour filling my body, especially the painful areas. I find this particularly helpful. I aim for 2 fifteen minute sessions each day, more if needed.

3. Journaling/worry time

Another strategy is to set out some time to worry during the day, maybe 20 minutes. It may help to talk about your worries with someone during this time or journal them. After the time is up, you move on to something else. If a worry comes up during the day, you can jot it down in your journal and save it for the next "worry time" session. This will help to prevent negative thoughts from building and racing.

3. Small productivity

I am used to working from 7 am to 9 pm, and loved my work. I'm now basically doing nothing, and that has been very hard on my self-worth. However, I'm just not well enough to tackle most of the work I used to do, and if I try, my pain builds and I get upset and discouraged. So, I try to set out a very specific small task for each day, that I know I can manage. For example, I may say I'm going to bake some easy to make cookies or even just read a few specific journal articles.


Those are just a few strategies I've discussed with the psychologist so far. I'll keep updating this post in case this helps someone out there!

-GG
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Re: Psychologist's advice for managing pain

Postby chachacha » 09 Feb 2017, 13:53

Thanks for sharing those. I'm sure that they will be very helpful for many of our members.

:thankyou:
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Psychologist's advice for managing pain

Postby GilmoreGirl » 17 Feb 2017, 11:09

Hi again,

Just a few more tips here:

Deep breathing/meditation techniques:

We tried another technique this week durong mindfulness exercises. This involved starting off with a quick body scan and deep breathing. Then, think of someone you love and admire, who makes you feel comforted and picture them in your head. While continuing to breathe, tell them (I did this in my head not out loud but I assume it doesn't matter) "may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you get through whatever trouble comes your way". Do this several times. Then, continuing to picture the individual, imagine them saying the same to you. Repeat several times, then go back to body scanning and really try and relax the areas where you hold tension.

You could also picture a group of people to whom you belong and feel comfortable with - your family, friends, members of this board haha - instead of the individual.

It is also helpful to remind yourself - or have someone else remind you - that you are doing the best you can and that this state is not permanent.

I've also been using a great app called "Headspace" to practice mindfulness - I find it particularly helpful on those days when there are lots of bad thoughts that just won't be quiet.

Hope that helps and that you're all feeling better each day.

-GG
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Re: Psychologist's advice for managing pain

Postby Pita89 » 17 Jun 2019, 17:30

Thank you for posting this. I know it is years later and I hope you are healed and doing well, but I'm recovering from LIS and I found this post really helpful.
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