Relationship between medical (chronic pain) and psychiatric (ptsd)

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Hope4Now

MyPTSD Pro
OMG. Thank you, thank you for saying this:
I find those with the most severe pain +/or illness hide it best and complain the least. In doing so, I don't think others understand the degree. Or rather, most assume were it worse the person would act and express it more, because they couldn't help to do so. But those post-trauma, or especially long-standing +/or from childhood, often have learned to 'suck up' and hide much as possible, in every way and especially publically or to other people. Including especially the pain they're in, chronic or acute.
Have you found ways to not hide it so much?

I was conditioned from infancy, to "suck up" whatever wasn't totally dissociated. Emotional responses. Physical illness or pain. I learned to hide everything and be "normal." This is still my biggest struggle, really, to not hold it all in. Even the acute stuff. Laugh it off. Shake it off. Pretend everything is fine. Because the conditioning is that if you don't, the consequences will annihilate you, either physically or emotionally. Ironically, my health probably wouldn't have gotten so annihilated in the first place if I had been connected enough to my body and emotions, and emotionally courageous enough to talk to somebody about the things that were happening to me.

I always hear - but you don't look disabled. I'd like to say that I'm bat shit crazy, but I don't.
:laugh::cry:
People who suck it up are mostly quiet and if you look at them, there is a certain set to their face, a clenching of muscles.
Yep. I relate. I don't know what I look like, but I'm sure this is it. Although I'm not too quiet when I write. But then again, I don't write much either when things are really bad.
 

Hope4Now

MyPTSD Pro
So, for whatever it's worth, I found the answer to the question I raised about the supplement glutiathone. I did some research, and...who knew? Seems there are more than 50,000 studies of the importance of glutiathone in our bodies. It is a powerful anti-oxidant and supports immune function and many other things. But taking it orally doesn't do much of anything. You have to get it another way. Also apparently many people with chronic pain and/or immune function issues have low levels of glutiathone in their systems.

So, you can raise levels by eating lots of certain good foods (which I actually already do), and by taking one or two supplements: something called Alpha Lipoic Acid, and/or something called NAC, n-Acetyl Cysteine, both of which will help your body produce more glutathione. These are much less expensive than what my facebook acquaintance was talking about, and there's a lot of research about their safety. So cool. Am going to add these to my supplement regimen. I have my doubts about it healing my chronic pain and exhaustion, but at least I'll be adding good anti-oxidant input to the old body.
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
I was conditioned from infancy, to "suck up" whatever wasn't totally dissociated. Emotional responses. Physical illness or pain. I learned to hide everything and be "normal." This is still my biggest struggle, really, to not hold it all in. Even the acute stuff. Laugh it off. Shake it off. Pretend everything is fine. Because the conditioning is that if you don't, the consequences will annihilate you, either physically or emotionally. Ironically, my health probably wouldn't have gotten so annihilated in the first place if I had been connected enough to my body and emotions, and emotionally courageous enough to talk to somebody about the things that were happening to me.

Yes I'm not sure if I was conditioned or chose it myself, it definitely was modeled by others. Part of it was being 'brave', partly to not add 'trouble', partly because no one was there, partly because depending who was there it wouldn't have been accepted.

I agree with @DharmaGirl , re: Burger King and texting, but I come from a long line of 'silent in the face of adversity people'; they would walk in to the hospital and croak. And even if one argued they weren't experiencing that level of pain, they were expressing it if asked if they were, and I believe them, as it also involved conditions like broken backs with nearly every single vertebra out (seriously) and gangrene that required extensive amputation, shattered limbs needing trauma surgeons, etc, and obviously terminal illness. At worst they would say they could barely stand or take it, but rarely writhing and never crying. Reminds me of EMT's saying go to the silent first. But, I realize this is not usual. It makes for terrible experiences in hosp's because you keel over before they'll look at you, though you get fast tracked when thy get hard evidence like visuals and vitals. I avoid hosp's mostly but the last time I went for a test I forgot (the Dr forgot) amongst other things the freezing, I didn't make a sound but boy I saw stars (no Burger King for me though, lol :wtf: ) . Though that experience was minute in the big scheme of things. Sheer will more than dissociation in my case. But probably practised (unintentionally) a lot, by carrying on/ not seeing an optiion to stop, consequences (real or imagined) to speak up; fear of speaking up; accomodating discomfort all the time (injuries, arthritis, not eating, etc.)

have heard this elsewhere, but have opted for radical hope in the brain's neuroplasticity.

Yes I agree. Though my goal is much smaller for myself, simply some peace and a happier, more balanced life. Being at peace I suppose is the closest I can relatively miraculously.hope for, in my own skin. And not being or becoming an as*hole. I wish I were more confident in it.

I feel like I make my life smaller and smaller all the time. I think part of the need for this is the issues with the central nervous system that I talked about in my opening post

Me too. Except for me it's more recessing in to an internal one. In many ways the outside goes through the regular motions, but inside I retreat more, what I think and feel.

I'd like to say that I'm bat shit crazy,

Oh @DharmaGirl :p:hug: Yes I say to the question: 'Where are you going?'- "Crazy. But I think I arrived'. :rolleyes:

Hugs to all.

ETA, yes I also think it comprises the perfect storm. There's a thing called Pain Fatigue.
 
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Hope4Now

MyPTSD Pro
Sheer will more than dissociation in my case. But probably practised (unintentionally) a lot, by carrying on/ not seeing an optiion to stop, consequences (real or imagined) to speak up; fear of speaking up; accomodating discomfort all the time (injuries, arthritis, not eating, etc.)
Totally relate. I pay for this in so many ways.
Perhaps we need to learn to "complain" more! Or reframe it. People like this/us need to learn how not to be afraid to ask for help and support?

Being at peace I suppose is the closest I can relatively miraculously.hope for, in my own skin.
Sounds like a great goal to me.
I'm always being told my expectations are too high. Working on that!

There's a thing called Pain Fatigue.
OH! Interesting.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I always took people's pain at face value unless they were obviously making things up. The silent ones are the ones you have to really question in order to find out where they truly are. I wasn't very clear in my post, I was a little dissociated and I wasn't on track. What I meant to say, is that we were taught to treat pain at the level stated. I did. My brother was in horrific pain, very patient, not fussing, and his doc kept saying he was drug seeking because he was an addict 20 years prior. After 6 MONTHS, they finally did a CT, and found that he had lumbar osteomyelitis ( spinal bone infection) so badly that two of his vertebrae were completely disintegrated. Can you imagine the pain? I swore that I would treat everyone's pain at what they said it was, except for the ridiculous, such as eating, texting, and chatting while having a 9/10 arm pain. I had a former addict as a patient, one of many, who had 9/10 pain in his arm, and I kept treating it and the doc kept saying he was drug seeking. I became a burr in the doc's side until he left. New doc comes in, does a scan, finds a blood clot in a vein. You just don't know, unless the pain level is completely at odds with the behavior.

It's a hard balance between treating and over-treating, but there is a difference between being stoic and not really having pain. It's cultural too. I had many E. Europeans that found it unmanly to show pain. I was so upset because I could see their pain, and I would beg them to take a little for me, so that I would feel better. That worked sometimes. These men could have horrible things going on and not take pain meds.

Pain is fascinating to me. It is comprised of so many different things and everyone is different. I still think medical people need a lot more training on pain, and pain patients need training on what the red flags are to hospital staff. Not that it is right, but certain phrases are interpreted as "drug seeking". I would like to see Pain Associations have pain patients added to their agendas, because decisions are made about pain without addressing the person in pain. It is interesting how the brain works, but it doesn't translate into instant relief.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
The chronic pain stuff and to a degree even the PTSD diagnosis is one of the very few areas that radical acceptance actually worked/and works on. I have very few pain free days... most are low to moderate, some can be very high. The fact that there is no course of treatment for my physical condition nor will be likely ever for the issues we know/that I have a diagnosis for and that there's still one pesky autoimmune that they can't identify was a fact that is solid/rigid/unlikely to change or improve - ever.

So... based on that fact... I had to adjust my lifestyle, my choices, and my perceptions accordingly. There will be (I expect) a time for pain management but I keep kicking that can down the road and intend to put it off as long as is humanly possible. It does affect my life... but having shifted over to a resigned but not depressed or upset about it anymore position is largely helpful. Further it has taken less stress of my marriage and relationship with my husband cuz I try to focus on monitoring and managing symptomology for the chronic issues just like I do for the PTSD.

I have more peace and calm - less depression, anxiety and distress... even if most of the time I have chronic pain of one sort or another.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
Just read Dharma... yup, she had already shared radical acceptance. Whole heartedly agree with her when she says:
All those things together help control my pain. Help, not eradicate. I decided that since my pain was here to stay, it was a part of my life, and instead of getting myself worked up into believing something could fix it, or there was something wrong they just couldn't find or that my pain was insurmountable, I finally told myself that those things weren't true, and that I had to find a life I could live that was pleasant for me. I had gone to a pain program where the T in charge told us we would always have pain. I cried through the whole hour. That's when I learned about radical acceptance and how I couldn't get better until I accepted that I would always have pain.

I also had to find a life where I could control my PTSD symptoms.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
You may not need pain management, @The Albatross, since you are already doing most of the stuff they have you do. Pain medicine is not pain management. It can be a part, but it isn't the whole. The more I work on radical acceptance, controlling my PTSD symptoms and stress, the less meds I need. I refused them for the longest time, then used them, now I am weaning off.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
Naw, I will - they were trying to push it on me every visit for the past couple years... but I get a clean slate being in a new area with a new doctor (eventually) cuz I doubt anyone would take the time to read through dang near 8 inches of medical records for a new patient visit. It says "patient is resistant to accepting Rx medications"... and I intend to keep it that way as long as humanly possible. I just didn't feel like going into what all is involved as I've done so over the years here various times. No point going into it all again, unless or until it's helpful for somebody cuz I'm pretty much over it.
 
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