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Understanding that fear of pain

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jml19, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I've been thinking lately about fear of pain and I can't say I completely understand it. I talked with my husband about it and he didn't understand what is so scary about it. He said, "It's just pain". I didn't understand that at all but boy did I want to understand it! Here's a guy that has no fear at all about pain, but then, the man never has a headache or back pain or anything like that. He's had some health issues (high cholesterol, a stroke two years ago, etc.) but no fear of any of it and he always has a positive attitude! Personality-wise, he's easygoing, patient, loving, understanding while I'm that typical driven, perfectionistic, people-pleasing type.

    Then I started thinking......I am a bit of a klutz with a knife; I am always cutting myself. Those little finger cuts hurt like heck...sometimes for days. But I've never been afraid of that pain. Hmmmm. I also get headaches. They are awful and sometimes hang around for 2 or 3 days. It diminishes my ability to do certain things, but I am absolutely and positively not afraid of that pain. So, in short, I am only afraid of some pain, but not all. Why?!!!! Could it be fear of the unknown? I know that cuts will heal and I know headaches come and go. But the pain I am currently dealing with (neuropathy in my feet) is something new that I don't fully understand. Or maybe this is a control issue. Still trying to figure it all out.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would say fear is quite a natural response to pain, particularly if it threatens to go on and on, at least in one's mind. Viscerally it is scary, even without the mind-spin.

    I want to post this re fear, in case you haven't seen it. Might give some food for thought.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/understanding-and-overcoming-fear.8574/ (Dr. Schubiner's Blog - Understanding and overcoming fear)
    plum likes this.
  3. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    That is a tremendous help with a lot of very practical advice....thank you very much. I ordered Dr. Shubiner's book earlier this week and am very much looking forward to reading it.
  4. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    I think we're afraid of the pain lasting forever. Of the effect it would have on our lives if it never went away, that this is the new normal and we can't handle it.

    When I first started doing mindfulness (and read the power of now) it would say 'everything is okay in the present moment' and I would think 'no it's not because I am in pain' and then I would realise that, being in pain for that one moment didn't matter, it was the FEAR of being in pain the next moment and the one after that etc. and therefore by thinking that way I was NOT truly present.

    Only when we fully accept the present moment as it is, without resistance, or referring to the past or future, will we find peace. I'm not there yet, but I hope to be. x
    jml19 likes this.

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