Navigating relationships when you have chronic pain or a chronic illness can be challenging! Below are some of the concerns I hear from people with conditions like yours.
The over-protective relationship
Perhaps you have family members or friends that do too much for you? You would like more freedom and independence; however, you are not sure how to start or where to begin with the discussion. Unfortunately, such behavior can push you into a cycle of under-activity which can exacerbate pain and symptoms in some people!
The dismissing relationship
You may have had someone indicate that you are making up your symptoms. Perhaps they have made rude comments or refused all help? Such relationships can leave you feeling stressed, frustrated, and depressed; you might also struggle to figure out how to approach and discuss concerns with such a person. This relationship may lead to irregular patterns of under and over-activity, further making your suffering, pain, and symptoms worse!
Relationship with providers and the healthcare community
The healthcare system can be a place where relationships are an afterthought. Perhaps you have struggled to ask or get your questions answered. Perhaps you have argued with someone or a provider in a healthcare office? Or perhaps you have struggled to find a fit for you or someone to take your complaints seriously! Stress from healthcare, unfortunately, can happen and it can make it difficult for you to find good care for your symptoms.
How a psychologist can help
A knowledgeable psychologist can help support you as you navigate such difficulties. Some examples of how we can help include helping with assertiveness, facilitating conversations with family members, and collaborating with your healthcare team. We can also help with the stress that results from such relationships, as well as help you learn how they impact your pain and symptoms.