How to understand a person who suffers from chronic pain

People with chronic pain have tried many alternative therapies and therefore know which ones may or may not help them. Some people have been misinformed or more often than not understood in their daily struggle; we also tend to inadvertently underestimate the sufferings of the person. This article is designed to help you understand: Here are some tips that can help you better understand and support people with chronic, often debilitating pain.



1. Remember that being sick does not mean that the person who suffers is no longer a human being. People who suffer from chronic pain spend most of their days with considerable pain. If you visit or live with someone who has chronic pain, they may not enjoy what they have enjoyed in the past. The sufferer remains aware of his condition and has the desire to continue doing what he is able to do. The sufferer may feel as though he is a prisoner of a body from which he has little or no control. She always wants to appreciate her work, her family, her friends and her leisure activities, although too much suffering can make these pleasures out of her reach.


2. Learn the rules.People who suffer from chronic pain will often have a speech very different from people who do not suffer. A scale of values ​​is used as a measure to identify the intensity of the pain so that the physician can assess the effects of the medication. The description of pain ranging from 1 to 10 speaks in 1 “total absence of pain” to 10 which is “the worst pain ever felt”. Do not think that the person who suffers feels no pain when she says she is doing well. The person who suffers from chronic pain tries to hide his pain because of the misunderstanding of others. Accept that words may not be appropriate for describing what the person is feeling. Remember the times you had pain, then imagine a pain ten times worse present twenty-four hours a day, every day and without any relief. It’s hard to find the words to talk about this type of pain.


3. Recognize the difference between “happiness” and “health”. When you had a cold, you probably felt unhappy. People who suffer from chronic pain have experienced pain from six months to several years. The pain has made them adopt management mechanisms that do not necessarily reflect the actual intensity of the pain they feel.

  • Respect the fact that the person who is suffering is trying to do his best. When the person who suffers from chronic pain says that it hurts, it is not exaggerated! But most often, they do with, giving the impression of being content and having a normal attitude.


  • See the signs of pain: grimaces, restlessness, irritability, mood swings, twisting hands, moans, disturbed sleep, gnashing of teeth, low concentration, decreased activity or perhaps even the written expression of suicidal thoughts.







4. Know how to listen. The two previous steps clearly established that people who suffer from chronic pain may have different language and may not evoke the reality of their pain. The best thing you can do is listen to them properly and at the same time be sure to listen to what they have to say and make sure you understand them. Use your listening skills to decode what they hide or try to minimize.


5. Understand and respect the physical limitations of people with chronic pain.It is not because she is able to stand for ten minutes that the sufferer can do it twenty minutes or an hour or repeat the feat anytime. It is not because the person managed to stand for thirty minutes yesterday that it necessarily implies that she will be able to do it again today. In the case of many diseases, immobilization of the person is obvious, as for paralysis or total immobilization caused by too much weakness. However, when it comes to chronic pain, it can be confusing for both the sufferer and the witness; their ability to handle movements can have ups and downs. The sufferer may not know how she will feel in the daytime by waking up in the morning and each day should be taken as it comes. In many cases, patients do not know it from minute to minute. This is the hardest and most frustrating aspect of chronic pain.

  • Introduce “sit down”, “walk”, “think”, “focus”, “sociable” and so on at this stage, as being the limitation of a person’s ability to respond to anything you are waiting for a healthy person to be able to do. That’s what chronic pain produces for people who have it.




6. Keep your “motivation packages” for your children or classmates in the fitness room. If you realize that chronic pain may vary in intensity, keep in mind that these motivational formulas will only demoralize and further slaughter the person who is suffering. As noted above, it is quite possible (for some it is common) that one day these people will be able to go to the park and back, while they will have trouble the next day to move from one room to another. the other. It is therefore essential that you do not fall into the trap of exclaiming: “But you have already done it! Or “Oh, come on, I know you can!” If you want them to do something, ask them the question and respect their answer.

  • Stop feeling compelled to release clichés about the benefits of outdoor exercise. For a person who suffers from chronic pain, “going out and having activities” will not make the pain go away and will often make the problem worse. Keep in mind that you do not know what they endure and how they suffer when they are intimate. To tell them that they need to get moving or do something to “turn their mind around” can overwhelm them to tears and that is not good advice, especially if you have no medical skills and no have no idea of ​​the disease. If these people were able to do certain things all the time or at any time, they would have done it.670px-Understand-Someone-With-Chronic-Pain-Step-6Bullet1


  • Remember that people who suffer from chronic pain are constantly supervised by doctors, wanting to get better and do what it takes to heal. Another assertion that can hurt is to say, “You should force yourself a bit, try a little more.” It goes without saying that chronic pain can manage the whole body or be located in specific places. Participating in a single activity over a long or short period of time can sometimes cause more damage and physical pain; not to mention the convalescent who can drag in length. Their problem is not always written on their face or in their bodily attitude.


7. Do not use cookie-cutter formulas that suggest you know something about it by making statements like, “Well, it’s life, you’ll have to do it” or “You’re going to overcome it.” it. Until then, try to do your best “or worse:” You look pretty good, “etc. These remarks give the impression that you have gone round the subject, but they are both a form of distancing of the suffering person and an opportunity for the person to feel even worse and hopeless. Psychologist Mark Grant suggests that you make some remarks that evoke hints of salvation, saying something like, “How did you get out of it? ”

  • Admit it when you do not have answers to a question. Do not hide your ignorance with clichés or perilous assumptions that are not based on facts. There is no harm in saying “I do not know” to then offer your help to find a solution.




8. Test your patience. If you run out of patience and just want them to “get along with this,” you risk making someone feel bad and underestimate their willingness to cope. She is probably willing to accept your request to go out, but has neither the strength nor the ability to face the situation because of the pain.

  • A person with chronic pain may have to cancel a last minute commitment. Do not take it too much to heart if it happens. If you can, try to always remember your chance to be physically able to do everything you can to do. This is not a reason to stop inviting the person; just because it did not work today does not mean it will not work next time.


  • Be very understanding if the sufferer says they should sit, lie down, stay in bed, or take these tablets right away. It probably means that she has no choice but to do it right now and not postponed or forgotten just because the person is somewhere or is doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive or wait for the goodwill of anyone.


9. Suggest parallel treatments or medications with skill.Prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies and alternative therapies can have side effects and unwanted consequences. Some people do not like advice and it’s not because they do not want to get better. They may have heard about it or may have tried it, others may not be ready to take on a new treatment that may be an additional burden in their already busy lives. Treatment that has not worked brings in their wake the moral pain of having failed, which in itself can still demoralize the person. Of course, we can draw attention to whether there is something that can cure them or even a treatment that may have helped people suffering from a particular form of chronic pain. There is a global network of people with chronic pain (both on and off the internet). It can be a good source of information. Speak with tact.

  • On the other hand, never be afraid to ask them if their treatment is satisfactory. Mark Grant says it’s important to ask helpful questions to the sufferer about the appropriateness of the treatment or if their suffering is bearable. He notes that these open and helpful questions are rarely asked, which could help the person with chronic pain to really talk and talk.


10. Do not be destabilized if the person who is suffering seems susceptible. The person is probably so if it’s the impression she gives. That’s not what she’s trying to be. In fact, the person goes to great lengths to stay normal. Try to understand it. These people went through a lot of very unpleasant things. It’s hard to understand what chronic pain is if you did not experience it. It ravages the body and the mind. It’s exhausting and infuriating. These people try most of the time to do their best to do that and live their lives as best they can. Just accept them as they are.


11. Make appointments useful. The person with chronic pain is very dependent on healthy people to support her home as well as for visits when she is too sick to go out. She sometimes needs help with cleaning, shopping or cooking. Other patients may need help for their children. They may need to go to the doctor or a store. You can be this link with the “normality” of life. You can keep these people in touch with the areas of life they are missing and desperate to win back.


12. Balance your professional commitments. If you live with a person who is suffering from chronic pain or if you regularly support such a person, you need to maintain a certain balance of life. If you do not take care of your own needs, your health, or a professional balance, you can be shot in the company of a person with chronic pain, even if you are probably trying hard not to being. Avoid the extreme exhaustion syndrome of people at the bedside and try to get help, take time to get out and stop feeling guilty. Take care of this person as you can, but think of yourself as well.

13. Do not limit a person to pain or illness. It is always a human being, with his interests, his passions, his preferences, who does not want to talk all the time about his pain. A little distraction can do good and make a little normal, so do not hesitate to talk about his passions, especially if you see that it pleases him.


  • Remember that the pain and discomfort of a person who suffers from chronic pain can vary a lot in the course of a day.
  • It is not because a person seldom joins certain activities or has canceled one that you should not ask him / her to join you or hide this activity from that person! This activity could one day be within the reach of all; consider how hurt you would be to always be excluded. Chronic pain is already a great source of isolation!
  • When asked about their degree of pain, people with chronic pain may not tell you how severe they are. Since their pain is chronic, it has been painful to some degree and may eventually accept it as normal or not painful at all. They could give you an exact degree of pain only if they experience an acute form of their habitual pain level as they live with daily changes, when they experience a pain that seems different (when it strikes instead of pulling, when it burns instead of throbbing) or even if they are asked spontaneously for the degree of their chronic as well as acute pains.
  • The pain is something difficult to explain to someone. It’s a very personal feeling and it’s based on both our psychological and physical functioning. The best you can do and never assume that you know how that person feels. You obviously know how you feel it, but each of us is different and it is impossible to put yourself in the shoes of someone and feel their pain.
  • Remember, these people are as “normal” as you, even if they face other things. They want to be seen and appreciated for what they are.
  • Nobody wants to suffer. Living with chronic pain is dreadful, but it is even worse if those around them have given up hope or if you do not understand them. Punishing someone who has not been able to go after one thing or another will only aggravate his case and show him that you have not understood anything. Those who are experiencing chronic pain already endure more than most people can imagine. Every day, life is so hard and so lonely. Your unwavering support, your optimism, your exchanges and of course your affection – are what matters most, because life can be quite depressing day by day with any chronic pain.
  • A smile can hide more than you think.
  • Instead of suggesting how to cure the pain, just think of being empathetic and taking the person in your arms to make them understand that you are supportive for them. She has already heard from a lot of doctors who told her how to correct or alleviate their chronic pain.
  • Think about all the responsibilities you have when it comes to caring for a sick person before meeting them. Understand that there are many things to do and if you are a little hesitant, do not bother trying to convince yourself to do it. You need to get involved at all levels or you must have enough respect for yourself and for the person by not forcing yourself into a situation as if it were a sentimental story. You are not a bad person thinking that you can not manage the care of a person who has health problems, but you are when you end up hating that person or making them responsible for their illness.
  • Do not compare health problems. Do not say that you too already have this problem and that you are well now. Do not tell someone who suffers from chronic pain that he or she has to assume it and invest in healing. This only shows your lack of understanding and gives the sufferer the impression of having failed where others have been able to manage what they are going through and have done much better than she does.
  • It is sometimes enough to put a hand on the shoulder of the one who suffers to give him comfort. Remember to be gentle. It must be a very soft touch, something that helps them to reconnect with others.
  • People living with chronic pain know what they are feeling and are well aware of their situation; so avoid thinking in their place by telling them what you think they feel.
    For pity’s sake, do not suggest another doctor, another treatment, another miracle cure, or do not say either that Entel died of the same illness or that another has healed. We will smile at you and we will say thank you, but it is useless.
  • Just learn to listen well, it’s good sometimes to share a silence, you do not have to fill words every minute of the conversation.
  • If you have heard of a major new scientific discovery, do not assume that the person with chronic pain is aware of it. Some people have abandoned all research on this subject. Every person who suffers may be entitled to some hope, even if it does not necessarily lead to healing.
  • For those of you who care for someone who is sick and who suffers from chronic pain, we sincerely hope that one day we will be grateful for what you have done. It’s not easy at all! We hope that one day you will find the true personality of the sick person, this is the best reward we can give you.
  • Do not stop asking, “How are you? To a person who suffers from chronic pain just because the answer may make you feel uncomfortable (just imagine how painful it is day and night!). Most people who ask for a time how will the sick end up not doing anymore. Do not be hindered by the fact that you would not like to hear the answer, it could be for you the only opportunity to show these people that you think about their well-being.


  • You might think that people with chronic pain go to see doctors to draw attention to them or because they like it or because they are hypochondriacs. They are only looking for something that could improve their quality of life and often want to know where the pain is coming from if it is unknown.
  • A depression can make people more emotional (crying, being anxious, irritable, sad, lonely, discouraged, afraid of the future, easily agitated, angry, frustrated, too talkative about drugs, need to confide , lack of sleep). This, as well as their degree of pain can also vary from one day to another, from one hour to the next, even from one minute to the next. One of the worst things you can do is give up a person who is suffering from chronic pain. This can only give them one more reason to be depressed, to feel lonely and not very optimistic.
  • People who suffer from chronic pain are not sex workers or hypochondriacs.
  • Do not judge in relation to drug use among people who suffer from chronic pain. If a medicinal form of marijuana can improve their lives, why depreciate this respite with a rigid morality?
  • Comfort those who suffer from chronic pain and make them understand that you are there for them. You can feel very alone when you are suffering. A loyal friend is a savior!
    To go further about hypochondriacs, it has been noted in the context of back pain that people who have imagined suffering debilitating pain often suffer a lot too.
  • Depression may make some patients less expressive, which may in turn mask the pain because the person who suffers has stopped wanting to show it. Always be on the lookout for signs of depression and do not confuse this with mild pain.


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