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My pain is not ‘all in my head; why was I referred to a psychologist?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | January 16th, 2020

My pain is not ‘all in my head;why was I referred to a psychologist?
Pain is generally not caused by stress or by emotions. However, stress, anxiety, and feelings such as worry, frustration, depression, or anger can make the physical pain seem even worse. Unfortunately, the very fact that a person has frequent or long lasting pain can by itself be stressful. Pain can also have a negative effect on other parts of a person’s life, which may lead to increased stress. Over time the person may begin to experience feelings of worry, frustration or depression. Any of these factors can interfere with recovery and may cause further pain. A psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in behavioral medicine understands the complicated interaction of pain, stress and emotions. They can sometimes determine how the different factors are affecting the patient’s pain and can then teach the patient skills to manage those factors. Treatment may include training in stress management, anger management, relaxation techniques and/or biofeedback. If the patient has become depressed, the psychologist or psychiatrist works with the patient and the pain management physician to treat the depression while the pain is brought under control.

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