• The fundamental challenge of chronic pain conditions is how to accommodate your condition without giving up your life. This is especially challenging for those who are used to being very active and independent.

    Another challenge is discovering the limits of what medicine and physicians can offer to cure these conditions. Generally there is no “one size fits all” cure, and each person must find what works best for them.

    You can take a proactive approach to your chronic condition with the support of a professional with experience in helping people struggling with chronic pain to find the most effective personalized approach to accommodate your condition and continue with your life. Call us at 416-597-0015 to book a consultation or fill out our online form.


     Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) refers to severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. The main symptom of CFS is extreme tiredness (fatigue), which lasts at least 6 months and is not relieved by bed rest. Other physical symptoms are similar to those of the flu and other common viral infections, including muscle aches, muscle weakness, joint pain, fever, headache, sore throat, and again, extreme fatigue.

    Emotional, Psychological, and Social Impacts

    Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers often loose the ability to participate in previously enjoyed activities as a result of their symptoms. They may worry about their loss of independence and their livelihood if they can no longer work, and may experience residual feelings of guilt and isolation. The emotional frustration and pain of chronic fatigue syndrome can lead to depression, the most common emotional difficulty related to the condition.

    Help from HPC

    A successful approach to boost emotional wellbeing includes professional counselling with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. In particular, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help patients with CFS set realistic goals and develop effective coping mechanisms, including learning how to adjust activities and behaviours that may aggravate CFS. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to facilitate patient coping and to allow increased activities without triggering increased symptoms.

     


     Fibromyalgia

    People with fibromyalgia have extreme sensitivity throughout their body. Many people describe a soft touch on their skin as “painful” and their whole body as continuously aching.

    Emotional, Psychological, and Social Impacts

    People with fibromyalgia often experience depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and some form of mood disturbance. The stress of chronic pain takes an emotional and physical toll.

    Anxiety and stress can increase the chances of a flare up, causing patients to avoid certain environments in fear of the pain. Ongoing pain limits activities and social connections, causing individuals to lose their ability to go out in public, work and enjoy previous leisurely activities.

    Help from HPC

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and related psychological/behavioural therapies have shown to be effective in improving the symptoms and conditions of fibromyalgia.
    Psychologists may help in the following ways:

    • Identifying psychological factors that make a person more vulnerable to fibromyalgia.
    • Identifying personal factors, such as personality styles, unhelpful thought patterns and attitudes, and lifestyle factors that may maintain fibromyalgia symptoms.
    • Suggesting specific strategies to minimize these factors and help fibromyalgia sufferers manage their condition more effectively.
    • Offering effective non-pharmacological treatment of conditions which are commonly associated with fibromyalgia (e.g., anxiety, depression).

     


    IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    People suffering from IBS have frequent abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating. For some people, these physical symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then dissipate for a period of time. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time.

     

    Emotional, Psychological, and Social Impacts

    The mind-body interaction for irritable bowel syndrome is getting attention in research. Studies show that up to 60% people with IBS also have a psychological disorder, most commonly depression or anxiety.

    IBS sufferers also experience higher sensitivity to emotional stress. Stress makes you more aware of pain and discomfort, and is a commonly known trigger that can increase the severity and frequency of IBS symptoms.

    IBS patients worry about their symptoms flaring up in public so much that they avoid going to going to work, school, or social functions. This fear may cause withdrawl from social life; loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed; restlessness and irritability. All are symptoms of depression.

     

    Help from HPC

    Reducing stress may reduce the frequency and severity of IBS symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be the most beneficial and has found to improve symptoms in a number of studies. Cognitive behavioural therapy can provide psychological coping strategies for dealing with distressing symptoms as well as help suppress thoughts and behaviours that increase the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Hypnosis and Mindfullness Training have also been found to be effective therapies for IBS.