What are the psychological effects of chronic pain?

This is an article by Casey Bloom. I offer it with the author’s permission for informational purposes. The author and I have no financial involvement.


Chronic pain can disrupt your life both physically and psychologically. It can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, and constantly worrying about when pain will return. That can severely affect the quality of your life.

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you can use a resource like this site to help you find ways to treat it or cope with it through yoga and meditation practices. There are many caring people on there who want you to live a happy, healthy life even with chronic pain.

But there are things that you have to contend with, especially with how your mind processes pain.

Psychological Effects

Being in constant chronic pain can make you want to withdraw from people. This has been noted in many patients with chronic pain. All you want to do is be alone. The relentless pain can bring about feelings of hopelessness.

The pain can be anxiety-inducing, since it can be uncertain when the next bout of pain will present itself. A related result is the feeling of being in a constant state of stress, which can have a physical effect on people’s bodies in the form of symptoms like high blood pressure, stomach pain or nausea.

This can make one’s emotional state quite fragile. As a result, you may be short-tempered towards the people around you. You may also be in a state of despondency.

Chronic pain patients show a level of dissatisfaction towards the loss of control in their lives. That is something that can be devastating to those used to being in charge. This loss of control can cause a downward spiral psychologically. Minor situations are seen as major setbacks.

Also, patients have noted a lower pain tolerance. The chronic pain makes them become very cognizant of each and every sensation. They might become more aware of other “threats” around them, which will constantly trigger the ‘fight or flight” reaction in their bodies. This constant rush is also very taxing and could cause other conditions to present themselves in the future.

Chronic pain can greatly affect one’s ability to understand things. It can cloud their brain and reduce their ability to control their emotions. As a result, patients have noted that their interpersonal skills suffer as a result, since their pain is the dominant thing in their mind..


The human brain is neuroplastic, which means it can be changed. There are things that you can do to help it cope with your chronic pain situation.

The various methods to manage the feeling of chronic pain and to put your mind at ease include doing yoga, working on sleep hygiene, doing mindfulness training, among other things.

The goal behind this is to change the structure of your brain. You will be able to access areas that help regulate the pain or even reach a point where you can lower those pain levels without resorting to painkillers.

These activities are also excellent in helping to prevent constant stress of the “fight or flight” symptoms that can be detrimental to your whole nervous system. They are also able to help reach the quality of restfulness throughout the night when sleeping.

The use of physical therapy is an excellent way to manage chronic pain. The physical therapist can demonstrate stretches and exercises to improve the affected parts of your body. Having a stronger body is one way to lower the levels of pain.

Chronic pain can feel like there is an unending dark shroud over your life. It can make you want to just wall yourself off from the outside world and have reduced or no interaction with anyone.

What you need to remember is that the feelings that you have during this time are perfectly valid. Chronic pain can alter your mind and the things you feel are real and should not be dismissed.

These are options that will help you turn the tide in your favor. There are many professionals out there who can show you the above ways to take control of the situation and improve your mind and body in the process.

Chronic pain can feel like a nightmare, but like everything else, there is an end in sight. You can regain your quality of life by seeing professionals who are experienced at treating people who are in your situation, or worse.

Ultimately, by working with them, you can decrease your overall levels of chronic pain and improve both your mind and your body. Then all the work that you put into it will be worth it.









Casey Bloom

Casey Bloom

Casey Bloom’s field of studies is concentrated on language and literature.
Before her stint as a writer, she was an advertising creative. Casey aspires to become a mother who raises a naturally healthy family. You can find her insights from various health and wellness sites.


  1. Kath on November 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    I was severely damaged and beg for death at least once every few days. I am short-tempered and constantly fear the pain that has driven me into bed every day. When I get low on pain medication I begin to fear.

    These people in control of the CDC will one day be forced to live like this. It’s the most inhumane, godless, and despicable act to limit one’s access to adequate pain medication.

  2. James Ross on November 25, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Dr. Webster,
    Thank you for sharping this article. I am Licensed Massage Therapist and RN. As an RN all I did was give medications for pain, depression, anxiety and sleep, the list goes on. I felt like all I did was make the problem worse, by giving these medications that only masked the problem, nothing is offered to help those suffering from chronic pain heal. The sad part is that most take pain medications like they are candy. Their entire lives are ruled by a clock, a schedule for when they can take their pills again. It is a never ending loop and I agree most that suffer from chronic pain are dismissed. Especially, when their spiritual and psychological pain is ignored. The fear of re-injury dominates their lives. They begin to ignore their friends and family, because they do not want to become a burden, leading to depression and isolation. A never ending loop that as a Massage therapist I am fighting to bring awareness and alternative therapies. The body can do amazing things when it is given a chance.
    Be well,

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