Chronic pain patients may feel guilty or even feel like a fraud when others, including doctors, question the legitimacy of their pain. A recent study suggests guilt in chronic pain is associated with “pain and pain interference, functional impairment, and poorer psychological and social functioning”.
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When others, even doctors, dispute the reality of their illness, chronic pain patients may feel guilty or even like a liar.
According to a recent study, guilt is linked to “pain and pain interference, functional impairment, and poorer psychological and social functioning” among chronic pain patients. According to Dr. Danijela Serbic, health providers must validate and reassure chronic pain sufferers while working with them to identify effective solutions.
There is not much of a correlation between persistent pain and tissue damage. This could be one of the reasons why some doctors refuse to believe that patients who complain of chronic pain are in fact in agony.
They claim that guilt is associated to worsening pain, physical functioning, social functioning, and psychological adjustment in those with chronic pain. Assumptions about how one’s actions affect others and how this affects one’s capacity to work or fulfill social obligations.
People who felt guilty because of their discomfort were more nervous, depressed, and angry. Others believe the patient’s discomfort is not real. When a chronic pain patient interprets an unpleasant experience as a violation of their norms of behavior, they may feel guilty.
Patients suffering from chronic pain may also feel guilty if they believe they are harming their children, friends, or coworkers. We must educate the public about chronic pain in order to reduce societal stigma.
It is not beneficial to dismiss patients’ experiences, accuse them of lying, or assume they are suffering from a mental condition (e.g., hypochondriasis).