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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by RN64, Dec 12, 2020.

  1. RN64

    RN64 New Member

    I had success with Dr. Sarno's approach in 2006. I challenged the belief that pain = physical damage, I got active again, and the pain diminished.

    For the past 10 years or so, the pain has been back, and it's been getting worse in recent years. I am absolutely certain it's not caused by physical damage and that activity isn't dangerous. I fear the pain itself - because it's so unpleasant and interferes with my enjoyment of things. I'm trying not to restrict activity (unless it's excruciating) - but I often end up toughing it out and hating the experience. I had posted about this a few years back and based on the responses I got, this is common. I know I need to learn the mental skill of noticing what's happening with curiosity (instead of "oh no, this is terrible") ... I am practicing that but can't seem to shift into that frame of mind.

    My question is, has anyone else in this situation benefited from a medication like Lyrica or possibly an antidepressant? The reason I'm looking into it is that this approach acknowledges that the pain is coming from the brain - not some structural issue in the body. I am wondering if it could give me an extra boost in breaking the pain-fear cycle - the same way that medication can give someone an extra bit of help, in addition to therapy, in managing a mental illness.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am not giving any advice, but rather offering my personal, very humble opinion.

    Medication is not a solution, it is a contributor to the problem, and the chronic pain problem is in the ability to balance our nervous system and cope with the stresses of life. By getting on medication you may see a relief from pain, but you may end up with side effects, drug dependency and still with the same nervous system in need of a coping mechanism. I found meditation being more powerful than drugs as a mental health medicine.
  3. RN64

    RN64 New Member

    I was talking to someone about chronic pain and the role of medication, and I remembered my post from a while ago. Just thought I'd post an update.

    When I posted this last year, I was seeing a therapist for anxiety and low-grade depression. She was trying to convince me that meds could help, as I was really suffering, despite therapy, mindfulness, etc. I also knew that there was overlap between psych meds and chronic pain meds.

    I was skeptical and afraid of side effects, but suffering enough to be willing to consider it. I still went to see a pain doc who had a good understanding of mental health issues. He prescribed Lyrica and Cymbalta.

    It was tough getting through the first few months of side effects. But I persisted, and now they are mostly gone. Once I got up to a therapeutic dose, the medications reduced my pain. They also seem to have improved my mood and reduced my anxiety.

    The doc agrees that my type of chronic pain comes from the brain and is not a structural issue. (He thought I fit the profile for fibromyalgia.) He firmly believes in getting active and challenging the belief that pain = damage (which I've done). But he convinced me that medication that targets the brain can help with the pain as well as the mental health issues.

    It's not a quick fix. I still have to work on managing my anxiety and challenging the pain. But it does, as I had hoped, kind of take the edge off both the pain and the fear of the pain itself, so that I can break that cycle and live my life.

    I'm not sure if I'll be on these meds forever. I may try to wean off at some point. But right now I'm doing well!

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