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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Mental Health and Persistent Pain

Topic: Mental Health and Persistent Pain

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Cahli
    Cahli avatar
    2 posts
    30 July 2019
    I'm Cahli. I'm here because I don't know where else to go.
    I currently suffer from persistent pain in my lower back, due to Grade 3 Spondylolisthesis. And I feel so alone.
    I have been to talk to my Dr.'s (Yep plural), who have mentioned that due to my condition i will be suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, however the help has never gone past a mention.
    I have said outright that im not coping, but it has all just been brushed aside.
    I have tried to turn to people around me, I have said outright "Im not ok, im not coping" and the subject quickly changes.
    I am a mum of 2 young children. And it is hard.
    My partner works away 10days then 4 home, and he is amazing. But its still hard.
    And I just don't know how I can keep doing this.
    Its hard to ask for help, its even harder to keep asking when you get dismissed so easily. And harder again when I've run out of people to turn to.
    I don't know what more I can do. Its not just depression or anxiety, its the pain I deal with each day, its the not having ANYONE I can talk to or anyone for support. Its the dismissal when i try to reach out, its the rejection. Its also the invisible disability and pain for basic care needs of not just myself, but my kids; that noone can see. Its the feeling of needing someone i can talk to about ALL of this, but looking around and seeing noone. Its the feeling of being invisible, even to 'health care workers'. And im just sooo tired.
    What can I do?
    My physical activity is limited
    I eat a balanced diet
    I meditate
    I take minerals and supplements
    I use magnesium
    I list off throughout the day things I am grateful for
    I sit in my garden, sun on my face, and just BE.
    But its just not enough.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    31 July 2019 in reply to Cahli

    Hi Cahli and very warm welcome to our community

    My heart goes out to you as the pain you are in can be very debilitating. In addition, not having the understanding of those around you can make things so much worse. As you say, the physical symptoms are not obvious so it makes it difficult for people to understand. That's such a difficult place to be in.

    I know how awful that is because my hubby had a back injury in his 20s in a similar place to where you are most likely experiencing the pain. I won't give you any advice about how he managed it because it wasn't the best. But like you, he was alone and had to manage on his own. He didn't reach out for help to anyone. It took years before he started seeing a physiotherapist to learn about pilates to help manage the pain.

    From everything you've said you are doing all the right things, it's just sounds like you are needing emotional support. Am I reading this right? Sometimes it's difficult to know if I'm understanding people's posts correctly.

    I don't think that not being able to see one's physical pain diminishes their pain in any way. You hurt and it's okay to call out to others that you hurt. If you think your friends and family are not supportive, then if it was me, I would go back to my doctor and tell them I wanted to see someone about my depression and anxiety and wouldn't leave the surgery until they put me on a mental health plan and given me advice about who I can see.

    Not sure how much I've helped Cahli. I do understand how you are in so much pain and how much you hurt when no one is listening to you. It's awful. Though, from everything you've said you are a very strong and very intelligent person who knows how to get better. Sometimes I think our depression and anxiety makes us think we are less capable than we truly are. I find it's learning to not listen to those little cretins inside my head.

    Kind regards


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Cahli
    Cahli avatar
    2 posts
    31 July 2019 in reply to PamelaR

    Thank you Pamela,

    Your reply was enough. Nice to know that there is someone out there that gives a damn.
    You are right, im reaching out for emotional support, and it is soooo hard to distinguish emotion with text. :)

    I went to my doctors today. Told them I wasn't coping and that I wasn't ok. Said i wanted a referral to a Psychologist who also understands chronic Pain. She said that she would have to do an assessment and that the appointment time wasn't long enough. She asked if i had anyone to go home to that is supportive. I told her No, my partner works away and there is noone else. She replied that i would have to book a longer next appointment in 2 days... And she showed me the door. So the count is now at 3 different doctors have had me say 'I am not ok' and 4 times i have been turned away.

    So, i am currently Doctor hunting..

    However, I am feeling a bit better now that i have ugly cried in the car and that im doing something pro active.
    I have my Neurosurgeons appointment tomorrow, so that is progress to.

    Also, thank you for your amazingly kind words. You really are a Community Champion. I have been loosing myself to my self doubt. Because there is soo much that im beginning to struggle with (like getting dressed in the morning), ive been crossing my phisical inabilities and beliving that is who i am. When really, no perhaps physically i cannot do this, but mentally i need to remember that it is OK. It just wears you down after a few years of pain.

    I used to be able to Meditate, and i haven't been able to center myself enough - leading to anxiety - leading to stress. However, last night i went back to basics and did a guided meditation. :) helped heaps.

    Again, THANK YOU Pamela

  4. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    1 August 2019 in reply to Cahli

    Hi Cahli

    I'm pleased to have been of some help to you. Often we don't know whether our words have been of comfort or not. So great to get feedback - thank you very much Cahli.

    Glad you were able to mediate last night. That's awesome. One of the major things with chronic pain is the anxiety and stress from the continual pain. It just seems to heighten the pain even more I've found for myself. With pains all over the place that I've sustained over the years for one reason or another.

    The emotional side of pain is real. It's taken me years to recognise this and just trying to understand it myself. The experience you had with the doctor was very unfortunate. I've found in the past my doctors want a 20 minute consultation booked before they do the mental health plan assessment. So when I've phoned I ask for a 20 minute appointment. Generally there's no hassles, the receptionists seem to know it's okay.

    Doesn't help you at the moment though, you must feel rejected (not believed) by the doctor. Not sure that's the case though, usually it's because doctors have back to back appts and don't wont to have their other patients wait. But I completely see where you are coming from and if you need the support then and there, they ought to be a little more thoughtful about how you're feeling.

    Losing oneself to self doubt is difficult isn't it? Those gremlins in the back of our minds eat away at how we feel about ourselves. But what is good is - you have recognised this and have done something about it (guided meditation - going back to basics as you say). That is part of the management plan with anxiety and depression. You are doing so well, and you are inspirational!

    Would love to hear how your next visit at the doctor goes? That's if you want to share. No pressure.

    Kind regards


    1 person found this helpful
  5. Nippy
    Nippy avatar
    8 posts
    4 August 2019 in reply to Cahli

    Hi Cahli

    Seems you just wrote my own story. I know exactly how you feel. I also have Ankyolosing spondylitis in my lower back and neck the pain sends my sometimes to the point of insanity. Like you say DR'S just keep sending me away saying I have to learn to live with it and I simply can not. I feel there is very little support and people can sometimes make me feel like a whinger. My hope joining this community is to find people like yourself who can fully understand what pain can do to a person and support each other through the really tough days. I hope we can chat soon. In love and light I care.

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