Chronic Pain and Illness

If you have experienced a Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain, you know how all-encompassing its effects can be. Constant suffering can affect nearly every aspect of your life, altering not only your body, but your mental health, social connections, career, financial security, marriage and much more.

Perhaps the hardest part of having a Chronic Condition is how separate you feel from everyone else. Your friends or colleagues may hear you mention doctor appointments or notice that you’re taking new medications. They may observe changes in your appearance (such as weight gain, dark circles under your eyes, hair loss). Or they may comment that you never come out like you used to. But what they notice is merely the tip of the iceberg.

What those around us likely do not see is the fear we feel when we know an event or activity is going to cause us pain (walking up the stairs, lifting a suitcase, carrying the grocery bags). They probably cannot relate to our feelings of guilt when we cancel plans (again!) due to a bad pain day, or because a medication zaps our energy. People without a chronic condition can’t imagine how vulnerable or, alternatively, detached we feel after showing our bodies to a bevy of medical professionals day after day; getting measured, poked, cut open and stitched up by people who claim to know our bodies better than we do.

It comes as no surprise that depression and anxiety are two of the most common side-effects of living with chronic pain and chronic illness. Research has confirmed that individuals with one or more chronic medical conditions are more likely to be diagnosed with major depression than their “healthy” peers. 1 A worldwide study found that primary care patients with persistent pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than patients who are pain-free. Furthermore, as pain increases, depressive symptoms increase, and quality of life worsens. 2,3

Depression and anxiety in an individual who is already stressed by a chronic condition can lead to exacerbated sense of hopelessness and/or inaction. Indeed, the last thing we want to hear is that in addition to the many daily battles we already fight, there is yet another. If your medical providers are not able to assist in managing your mental health care, it is time for you to reach out to someone that is equipped to help.

The Kraft Group (Florham Park, NJ) offers counseling for individuals with chronic pain and chronic illness. Our counselors understand that suffering from a chronic condition can affect every aspect of your life, from your identity to your mental health to your social connections and more. We understand that your experience of suffering needs to be addressed in a holistic manner--with careful attention paid to every aspect of your life that has been altered since you began living with this condition. We also work with and provide support to caregivers and/or family members including children, parents, and significant others in individual, couples, family and group therapy.

Send us an email or give us a call. All of our counselors provide compassionate, supportive care, addressing issues important to you, at a pace that is comfortable to you.

For more Information Download our Chronic Pain Brochure Here

To arrange an initial consultation, please call The Kraft Group at 973-727-1597.


Citations

  1. Gagnon, L. M., & Patten, S. B.. Major Depression and its Association with Long-Term Medical Conditions. Can J Psychiatry. (2002);47(2): 149–152.
  2. Munoz RA, McBride ME, Brnabic AJ, et al. Major depressive disorder in Latin America: The relationship between depression severity, painful somatic symptoms, and quality of life. J Affect Disord. 2005;86(1):93–8. 
  3. Tripp DA, Curtis NJ, Landis JR, et al. Predictors of quality of life and pain in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: Findings from the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Cohort Study. BJU Int. 2004;94(9):1279–82.

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