Living with Chronic Pain
Remaining Hopeful While Living With Chronic Pain
Hope is defined as expectations for a desired outcome. Being hopeful improves physical and mental health, lowers the risk of depression, and increases self-esteem. It is also associated with improved coping skills, resilience, and overall quality of life. Even though being hopeful is essential, it can be challenging when living with chronic pain.
Hope and chronic pain
Individuals with chronic pain may struggle with remaining hopeful. This is particularly true if pain worsens or a new medication fails to reduce pain. It is difficult to imagine a future without pain, especially when currently experiencing worsening or unrelenting pain. However, a future with less pain or no pain is possible.
Reasons to be hopeful
An individual’s body and conditions can change over time. Scientific breakthroughs occur and new treatment options are constantly developing. While no one can determine if pain will completely depart, staying open to the possibility provides both hope for the future and strength to persevere in the present.
Individuals with chronic pain can also develop hope by finding and focusing on a purpose. Whether it is spending quality time with a child or spouse, advocating for a cause, or creating some type of art, finding a purpose outside chronic pain can create hope. Focusing on that purpose brings constant reminders that there is more to life than pain.