Tackling Stigma: Part 1
Updated: Nov 20, 2021
People can be so quick to judge, myself included. What's true in your world, might not be true in someone else's world. We will never know the full story until we atleast try to understand the others viewpoint. This is the case for anything in life, but especially when looking at chronic pain.
Chronic pain is both a medical and psychological condition, there are two sides of the coin and both must be addressed. Stigma begins when someone is being criticized for having a condition that they didn’t choose to have, or being judged for how they are coping with this condition. People living with chronic pain can feel this judgement everyday, from almost anyone in their lives. Everyone has an opinion on how you should be handling your situation… This is a biased opinion based on your life experiences. Your life experiences are are completely different from the person’s sitting beside you. Therefore your viewpoint on how someone living with chronic pain should be dealing and coping with their condition is simply invalid... it's like comparing apples to bananas.
Imagine feeling judged by friends, employees, employers, insurance companies, healthcare providers and maybe even family while living through the most difficult time of your life. Trying to live your life but each time you attempt to feel normal you have to defend yourself and explain that you are actually numb. Stigma can cause shame, the feeling of being alone, and isolated, depression and anger.
Measuring range of motion for chronic pain, really? Having to fill in little boxes on an evaluation form? Trying to defend themselves when no one is actually listening... This can be the start to a slippery downward slope. This is what our current insurance models ask us to do. How is this supposed to help someone heal? We must ask ourselves, who are these models actually set up for?
Stay tuned for Part 2.