Topic Suggestion: Anger and Chronic Pain – Patti Mehaffie
ACPA CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP
ZOOM MEETING – 6/3/21
TOPIC: ANGER AND CHRONIC PAIN
Group Q: In your chronic pain/illness experience, what types of things have caused you to become angry?
- Angry at life, your bodies, limitations, attitudes of others?
Group Q: Is anger normal for someone experiencing the chronic pain/illness that you are?
- Anger, in some regard, is healthy and normal for someone in our shoes. But…
- ANGER CAN BE DIRECTED IN TWO WAYS
- Inward: Anger at our body, our mind, at weakness, etc.
- External: Anger directed toward family, medical professionals, whatever caused the chronic pain, illness. Anger at not getting what we need to lead a fulfilling life, etc.
- GET SUPPORT
- Talking with others who have experience similar frustrations can help release feelings of dissatisfaction and rage.
- Communicate feelings to loved ones or a trusted friend.
- Support groups – a place to vent, express concerns, feel accepted and understood.
- SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
- Put your experiences into words – written or spoken.
- Brings about a better understanding of what you are feeling.
- Can allow you to see things with a different or better overall perspective.
- When you understand what you are experiencing, your emotions can change from anger and frustration to relief and awareness.
- Research has shown people who write or talk about their problems have fewer health problems.
- CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS
- Anger is often the result of unreasonable expectations and demands on yourself.
- We believe life should somehow be fair, but unfairness exists.
- The idea of inequality gives people a reason to be angry, especially with health issues. Insisting that life be fair is unreasonable.
- Learn to let go and accept that life is just unfair sometimes.
- Work towards transforming your anger into passion.
- Enjoy life despite the unfairness.
- Focus on what you can control, do not waste time on what you have little power over
- ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT ANGER
- Can help you make sense of what you are feeling.
- Be honest with yourself about finding ways to manage angry feelings.
- GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
- If anger is negatively impacting your relationships and causing you to feel stressed, consider getting professional help.
- Look for a therapist who helps people dealing with long-term health conditions.
- TIPS FOR MANAGING ANGER
- Recognize you are feeling angry.
- Use deep breathing, Yoga and meditation.
- Tell yourself to stop (interrupts thoughts)
- Count to 20 before you respond. Or…wait 24 hours?
- Distract yourself.
- Consider the facts of the situation or feeling.
- Anger – natural part of living with chronic illness and a part of life
- Even the most positive people experience anger from time to time.
- Anger is an emotion, and it is ok to feel it, provided you deal with it constructively and do not harm yourself of anyone else in the process.
- Feel your anger, let go, and move on!
Source: upwell.com blog “5 Tips to Manage Your Chronic Illness Anger”