So, one day last week, I was bored and casually surfing WebMD for non-aspirin headache remedies (I didn’t have any aspirin in the house that day, and the headache was a fairly mild one — not too distracting when compared to those I usually deal with, but still distracting). Because I could not stop clicking on random links (sites like WebMD compel me to), I stumbled upon something called the “Pain Management Questionaire” and decided to complete it.
This was part of my result, on the “Chronic Pain Myths and Facts” segment of the quiz:
“Having chronic pain means that I have a lower tolerance for pain. FALSE. Too many people blame themselves for their chronic pain. They feel like it’s a sign of weakness. But chronic pain is not a moral failing, it’s a medical condition, just like diabetes or heart disease. There’s nothing shameful about it.”
“You also need to resist the urge to tough it out or ignore the pain. For acute pain, this sometimes works. Acute pain often goes away on its own with time as the body heals. But for people in chronic pain, it’s terrible advice. In fact, ignoring chronic pain can allow the problem to worsen and make it harder to control.”
“Pain that becomes chronic can change the way that the body and brain respond to pain. The changes are physiological, not psychological. Just as medication is needed regularly to keep high blood pressure under control, regular treatment usually is needed to keep high pain levels under control.”
Given the fact that too many media and cultural outlets seem to have no problem blaming people for their own health-related issues, disabilities or conditions, this struck me as a nice change. If you want to take the questionnaire, it is located at this link.