Peer Support for Chronic Pain
By Jazmin Stearne
This country has a high incidence of disorders that cause chronic pain. According to the CDC, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons why adults seek medical attention. Chronic pain has been linked to restrictions in mobility and daily activities. Also, there is a high prevalence of depression and anxiety among adults living with chronic pain. Living with chronic pain can cause a considerable amount of pain and suffering; not just among those living with it, but also their families. Understandably, depression caused by chronic pain is different than depression caused by other factors. Usually, treatment for pain-related depression consists of medication and talk therapy. About 20.4% of US adults live with chronic pain.
How chronic pain affects me
I live with multiple health conditions, causing non-relenting pain that I live with every day. I’ve learned how to manage it for the most part, however I know what it feels like to live with the depression and anxiety that can often accompany the chronic pain experience. I’ve dealt with chronic pain for many years now; and I know how to handle depression and other feelings that often come with it, such as loneliness and chronic anxiety. Because of my chronic pain, my life has been altered. For instance, I’ve learned how to change things like diet and even warning signs that often notify you when your body is trying to tell you something.
Why I started this group
I started this group because I can truly empathize with those living with chronic illnesses. I understand the depression, anxiety, fatigue, and loneliness that many others go through. I know what it’s like, and I think that it can help. I have a passion for working with those who are in pain, because I’ve experienced a significant amount of pain myself. I have taken part in many chronic pain support groups and can understand how powerful these support groups can be.
The benefits of my support group
My support group will reap many benefits. It will be a rather short group, about six weeks in length. Each week, we will focus on something different. I will utilize such things as mindfulness as well as other holistic topics. Virtual support groups are helpful in that you can participate in the group from the comfort of your home. Also, if you join my support group you will likely meet others who are going through similar experiences. I believe in the power of comradeship.
A supportive space
Lastly, my group will provide a supportive space for those who need it. I will provide helpful strategies to help cope with chronic pain. I will often incorporate lighthearted humor for my clients. I’ve learned the importance of keeping a sense of humor when going through something that is so personal and painful. You can now sign up for my chronic pain group. Please check our website or give me a call for more information. My group will start Wednesday, 2/24. I hope to see you there. You can also give me a call at 707-387-8479