Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

Most people suffering from chronic pain have become skeptical of the idea that psychological interventions can be beneficial. Too many trips to too many doctors and too many suggestions that the pain is “all in your head” have left most people struggling with chronic pain and illness feeling hopeless and angry. At Chrysalis we don’t believe the pain is all in your head. We understand that you hurt. And we understand that hurting day after day, minute after minute, second after second, takes a terrible toll on all aspects of your life.

How can we help? First of all, we take the time to educate you. Your mind interacts in complex ways with your body.  Chronic pain is a form of chronic stress, and chronic stress makes everything hurt more and fall apart. Chrysalis doctors are trained to help you manage the stress that pain (and let’s be honest, life) inflicts on your body.  Together we will come to understand your pain and its patterns, and we can develop strategies-a “tool kit”-to start getting you back on the path towards a productive and enjoyable life.

At Chrysalis we are also trained to help you understand the havoc that chronic pain has probably wreaked on your relationships.  We know that chronic pain can’t often be seen, and that your family and friends may have difficulty understanding what you’re going through. The effects of perhaps not working, not functioning predictably, feeling hopeless and frightened, make normal social interactions complicated. After years with chronic pain, one’s life often gets smaller and smaller, and feelings of discouragement prevail.

At Chrysalis we can talk about your pain, emotions, nutrition, exercise and multiple other factors. We can work together to help you find the sense of well-being that your pain took away.

Adjustment to Chronic Illness

If you’ve recently been informed that you or a loved one has a life changing, perhaps life-threatening illness, you’re likely feeling dazed and incredulous.   You may feel frightened, angry, perhaps guilty over past behaviors that contributed to your diagnosis. You might want to pretend it’s not as bad as you think or that it’s simply not true. Or perhaps you’re terrified, imagining the worst-case scenario.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six in ten adults in the US have a chronic disease, and four in ten have two or more chronic diseases. The most common of these are heart disease, cancer and diabetes, though there are others as well. Most chronic diseases demand dramatic alterations in lifestyle. These changes require new habits-perhaps new approaches to living, sleeping and eating that will take discipline and vigilance to maintain.  Important decisions about how much to change, what is important to change, how to sustain these changes and other variables can be overwhelming. Social groups and circumstances may change as you find new ways to accommodate your illness while relating to the world.

Chrysalis providers are directly impacted by chronic illness in their families and/or have extensive experience working with a range of chronic diseases.  We can help you sort through your feelings and choices and find your new normal.  Because you can find a new normal-even though it might not initially seem possible.