Helping Loved Ones Dealing with Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain Impacts Family Dynamics
We have spoken ad nauseam about the dangers and affects chronic pain has on the lives of those afflicted with it. After all, more often than not, it hinders their ability to complete everyday activities. Things as simple as cooking, driving a car, and walking upstairs can seem impossible. While the effects of chronic pain are apparent, how this pain affects loved ones and the dynamic between friends and family is not nearly as discussed.
After all, some of these individuals are responsible for much of what goes on in a home. They could be the primary caregiver, tasked with ensuring everyone is fed, clothed, and healthy. They could an active parent, bringing their children to and from extracurricular events. Or they could be someone who always fixes any issues around the house, operating as the handyman. Either way, these individuals usually have a role within their homes or in their close relationships.
When someone is left struggling with chronic pain, many people are affected. When people suffer from chronic pain, their mental health takes a hit, which can also affect their relationships. Helping loved ones dealing with chronic pain means they will receive the treatment and care they need. This treatment not only helps them manage their pain, but it also improves the dynamics in their personal relationships. If you have a loved one that is dealing with chronic pain, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn how you can help.
Impact on Family Dynamics
As we said previously, many people have different roles in their homes. Several people in a home may rely on them for food, clothes, shelter, or just getting them from one point to another. All of that changes when they have chronic pain. While chronic pain does not impact every relationship in a family, it can test them.
People take on new roles whenever they get married or have children. Often, these roles are unfamiliar to them, causing stress and anxiety. When you include the effects on chronic pain, they experience increased symptoms. Unfortunately, many people with chronic pain experience a lot of frustration. Roles they were responsible for, they can no longer do. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for these individuals to feel a sense of worthlessness.
Many people often feel self-conscious about their pain. They feel that if they complain about their pain, they will seem self-centered or nagging. Common symptoms of chronic pain are moodiness and irritability. Too often, loved ones dealing with chronic pain lash out at family members and friends, adding more strain on the relationship.
Spouses and Children
Spouses of those dealing with chronic pain may be kept at arm’s length. Their spouse may not feel comfortable opening up about their pain. Additionally, they may have to take on more parenting responsibilities and household chores since their partner can no longer do them. If their spouse cannot work, financial worries fall on them, as well.
For children, they don’t always understand what’s going on or why their parent is in pain. Children require a lot of patience, which those dealing with chronic pain have little of. They may feel anxious, angry, or offended when their parents don’t spend as much time with them as before.
It is unfortunate that chronic pain not only impacts those living with it but also those around them. However, you can help loved ones dealing with chronic pain in various ways.
Helping Loved Ones
Watching your loved one live with chronic pain is hard. No one wants to see a family member or close friend live with this kind of pain. While you may feel powerless, there is plenty that you can do to help.
- Learn about their condition. Whether your loved one is suffering from back pain, fibromyalgia, or another chronic pain disorder, take the time to learn about it. This puts you in a better position to help while also helping you understand what they are going through.
- Ask them how you can help. Pride often gets in the way of people seeking help, so you may need to ask yourself how you can help. Symptoms vary from case to case, so the best way to find out what you can do is to ask. Keep an open line of communication, so they can feel comfortable to ask you themselves. However, don’t do everything for them. Allow them to keep some independence.
- Explain to children. Children often don’t understand what’s wrong with a parent with chronic pain, which creates feelings of anxiety and confusion. Take time to explain your loved one’s pain in a way that’s easy to understand. This will help them understand the situation better.
- Be understanding. Accept that pain exists and that this is neither yours nor your loved one’s fault. Let go of anger, resentment, and blame. Be understanding of their condition and offer your support.
- Encourage treatment. If your loved one continues to suffer from chronic pain, encourage pain management treatment. Living with chronic pain is challenging for not only them but those around them. Seeking the help of trusted pain management specialists can improve their symptoms and improve family dynamics.
Frisco Pain Management
At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we understand how impactful chronic pain can be on anyone’s life. Not only does it affect a person’s physical health, but it also affects their mental health. Unfortunately, families and friends of loved ones struggling with chronic pain also experience some effects. Family dynamics shift because a person cannot complete the tasks and responsibilities that they previously could. Often, their pain leads to irritability and impatience, which they take out on their loved ones.
You should always offer your support to your loved one. After all, no one should suffer alone. There is plenty you can do to help your loved one. By seeking pain management, they can improve their chronic pain symptoms and improve their personal relationships. If you or a loved one is living with chronic pain, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.