People often think of pain as a purely physical sensation. However, it is now accepted that pain does not exist in a social vacuum, and that non-physiological factors such as personality, cognitions, beliefs, socio-cultural variables, learning and emotional reactivity all contribute significantly to a patient’s perception of pain. Furthermore, chronic pain can cause feelings such as anger, hopelessness, sadness and anxiety. To treat pain effectively, you must address the physical, emotional and psychological aspects.
Our pain psychologists Asheville are experts in helping people cope with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that accompany chronic pain. When working with a psychologist, you can expect to discuss your physical and emotional health. The psychologist will ask about the pain you experience, where and when it occurs, and what factors may affect it. In addition, he or she will likely ask you to discuss any worries or stresses, including those related to your pain.
A pain psychologist Asheville can help you develop new ways to think about problems and to find solutions. In some cases, distracting yourself from pain is helpful. In other cases, a psychologist can help you develop new ways to think about your pain. A psychologist can also help you make lifestyle changes that will allow you to continue participating in work and recreational activities. And because pain often contributes to insomnia, a psychologist may also help you learn new ways to sleep better.
Most patients find they can better manage their pain after just a few sessions with a psychologist. Those who are experiencing depression or dealing with a long-term degenerative medical condition may benefit from a longer course of treatment. Together with your psychologist, you will determine how long treatment should last.
The goal is to help you develop skills to cope with your pain and live a full life.