Psychology of chronic pain

After my recent experience with hospitalisaion and ketamine I am realising what a huge impact chronic pain had on my perception of improvement and my emotions in general.I was in such a tangle of despair at the unrelenting nature of EM, my hope for improvement and what I could realistically expect. Much to my own shock I found myself in a fit of teary hysterics because the treatment was not working. I was swept away by such a turmoil of sadness and loss that only when I calmed down I started to see that I was railing against not being cured, not that my doctor ever for a moment promised anything like that! In fact I told him the next morning that after my inital reduction in arm and leg pain it was really pretty useless.
After being home for a day I had to ring him and confess that I was just having a tantrum and I was actually significantly better. I also know that my emotional state in general makes pain easier or more difficult to bear or indeed the level of support I get from my family and friends. I have found myself wondering how on earth one can be objective about chronic pain,I know to some extent it IS what you percieve it to be ,but I think I nearly messed up a potentially good treatment due to an emotioal whirlpool.
If anyone has any insighs or good reads I would be very interested to learn more,
I am hoping that my experience may resonate with others ,who have been disappointed in the result of a medication and perhaps let that feeing overshadow any improvements.In hospital a woman with severe neck pain and some other issues
(emotinal)obviously felt she could not go on.It is hard to be asked in the middle of a corridor “is this all there is?” She felt like she was drowning in negativity and pain. The answer I gave her was lke a sudden truth to me - that just as a drowning man clutches at straws, we have to do the same. Be it something like a being kind to yourself with rest or a treat or grabbing any improvement medication gives ,eventually you will grab enough straws to build a raft.Once you climb on you can see more clearly…I hope she is ok.

Hi Tizzy,

You could ask your pain clinic if they have a psychiatrist. The clinic I'm going to does have one, and I'm hoping they will be able to help me with the mental aspect of dealing with so much pain.

I think the reflections you're having now on the subject now have got to be a good thing. So next time you will have to face some kind of change you could try to go through a similar thought process before it all starts. Remind yourself that it could get challenging and that things are often not as bad or good as they seem at the time.

Oh Tizzy....cut yourself some slack. It is the total loss of control that creates that emotional panic. You already knew at home that there was nothing you could do to stop the pain and you were at the mercy of your disease. You go into the hospital for a treatment that you hope might help, and when it doesn't seem to do anything at first you panic. You have no control over the situation. You can't make the treatment work, you are still at the mercy of the cruel disease that has taken over your body. What's not to panic about that? I think you are being too hard on yourself. I am so glad you ended up getting some relief after all, but you know that you regrouped and calmed yourself down even before you knew that. Hugs.

Oops, the pain clinic has a psychologist not a psychiatrist. Sorry Tizzy I'm mixing things up again.