What should I know about psychological treatment for pain problems?

When you are in pain, you may have feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, and despair. Pain can alter your personality, disrupt your sleep, and interfere with your work and relationships. Psychological treatment provides safe, non-drug methods that can treat your pain directly by reducing high levels of physiological stress that often worsen pain. Psychological treatment also helps improve the indirect effect of pain by helping you learn how to cope with the many problems associated with pain.

Psychological treatment often is advised because pain is a good example of a mind-body connection. When the body feels pain, one's thoughts and emotions are influenced by how much pain is felt. Depression and anxiety make pain worse, yet pain causes depression and anxiety. Stress makes pain worse, yet pain causes stress. Lack of sleep makes pain worse, yet it is very difficult to sleep when you have pain. Psychological treatment can help with managing the effects of pain.

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