Topic Suggestion: Anger and Chronic Pain – Patti Mehaffie

The role of anger in the vicious cycle of pain - BLB Chronic Pain

ACPA CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP

ZOOM MEETING – 6/3/21

TOPIC:  ANGER AND CHRONIC PAIN

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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.
  • SUMMARY
    • 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!

NOTES:

Source:  upwell.com blog “5 Tips to Manage Your Chronic Illness Anger”

Published by paintom

Happily married to Marianne. Medically retired USAF Lt. Col.

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