Chronic Pain and Your Mental Health?

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain for over seven years, and it’s taken its toll on me. I’m grateful that I have had periods of relief, because I know that this is not the case for many people, but the pain has been recurrent and difficult to treat. This fall I once again ended up in the emergency room. It was discouraging to realize that my situation wouldn’t be going away by getting some rest or any other non-invasive treatment.

Spending this time recovering from back surgery, I’ve had to acknowledge my inability to do and be all that I want to do and be. I’ve been forcibly removed from my usually routines of meeting the needs of my family, or even my own needs, and being able to connect with friends.

So the other day I got a call from a friend to just check in and see how I was doing. So sweet and very thoughtful! It’s not I don’t want people to call, I do! But it’s actually very difficult for me to articulate how I’m feeling. I don’t have easy answers and my friends and family want it to be better for me, so it’s only natural for them to put a positive spin on whatever my current reality is.

While I appreciate this hopeful attitude and I am personally committed to gratitude and doing everything in my power to recover and be at 100%, there are no guarantees. Those living with chronic pain rarely have a simple answer to their issues. This fact can be very disheartening. Quite honestly, I’m broken and raw from this journey, both emotionally, physically, and at times spiritually.

So you’re probably wondering what does chronic pain have to do with mental health? Until I experienced it myself I didn’t realize how much pain impacts your mental health. I have felt very isolated and lonely in this experience, because it can be difficult to explain how it’s impacting as a mother, as a wife, in my work, and just as a woman. The truth is people are more comfortable if you have an answer to your problem or a date when everything will be better. I don’t have that. So, it makes me want to avoid people.

I’m sharing this very vulnerable stuff about myself, not to make you feel sad for me, but because I know there are other people who are struggling with chronic pain. You might feel like avoid people, like I have. Or maybe you just smile and nod and pretend everything is okay, when it’s not.

I just want to share three things with you:

  1. You’re not alone. God sees you and there are others who are struggling right along with you.
  2. Things might not be the way you had planned, but your life still has purpose and meaning.
  3. It might be time to reach out for help. This could be in the form of practical help from family and friends or it could be help from a support group or a counselor. I’ll put some links in the notes below.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirit’s are crushed. Psalm 34:18

Question and Action Steps:

If you’re suffering with chronic pain, I’d love to pray for you? Comment below, and let others know what has helped you along your journey.

Reach out for counseling 


Seek out a support group: for those in the Vancouver, WA area email –

Don’t miss Carrie Farrell’s article on Chronic Pain at

 posting November 8, 2017.

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