Chronic PainWhat To Do When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much

What To Do When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much

People with chronic pain can be incredibly resilient after facing daily discomfort for long periods of time. We quickly build a new kind of tolerance to the typical aches and pains. Plus, we have to get creative with how we do day-to-day activities through or around the pain. Chronic pain survivors are often tough because we have no other choice but to be. But all this said, there’s no hiding the impact that living with chronic pain can have on our lives.

So, what do you do when chronic pain becomes too much? Below, we’ve put together some suggestions on what you can do when chronic pain becomes too much to function as you normally would. From self-care to self-advocacy, there are resources to lean on in the times when the pain goes off the scale.

How Do You Know When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much To Handle?

How Do You Know When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much To Handle?There are different types of pain that people can experience. Some people might only ever have instances of acute pain while others deal with the long-term effects of chronic pain.

The main difference when it comes to acute pain is that this type of pain usually happens suddenly and does not last longer than four weeks. Acute pain usually is the result of an injury, surgery, illness, or other types of strain. Any type of pain, acute or chronic, can disrupt somebody’s abilities. However, chronic pain usually has a longer impact on somebody’s life because it’s not something that resolves after time.

Those with acute pain might have an action plan to work toward eliminating the discomfort. People with chronic pain might have similar methods, such as:

  • Taking pain medication
  • Applying heat or ice
  • Doing physical therapy or other tolerated, gentle movements
  • Using distractions (seeing friends, watching movies, reading books, etc.)
  • Eating well/avoiding certain foods
  • Stress management

But people living with chronic pain might not always find success in these traditional methods. One sign of when chronic pain becomes too much to handle is when there is no relief from the pain, despite these attempts.

Additionally, an indicator that chronic pain has become too much to handle is when it begins to greatly impact one’s quality of life. This means that the pain is so severe that the person experiencing it is unable to work, socialize, find joy in going out, care for themselves independently, or function in other ways.

When this happens, people living with chronic pain can face a whole new onslaught of challenges. Not only is it incredibly frustrating to have one’s day-to-day life greatly impacted, but the side effects of pain can be detrimental to one’s overall well-being—including physical and mental health.

Chronic Pain and Mental Health Support

One of the most important resources when chronic pain becomes too much to cope with is to get mental health assistance. The physical experiences of chronic pain are a lot to handle on their own, but there is also an emotional component that comes with this as well.

Research shows that people living with chronic pain are at an increased risk of having anxiety and depression as well. When chronic pain becomes too much for a person, it can leave them feeling isolated, stuck, and dependent on others. Sometimes, this leads to a negative self-image.

Even just worrying about when you’ll feel pain next or how you’ll do day-to-day things when the pain flares up can cause a harmful impact on your mental health. Feelings of sadness, helplessness, and loneliness are all common to experience with chronic pain—but nobody should have to deal with these feelings alone.

Attending counseling, practicing mindfulness, and getting help from chronic pain support groups are all useful resources when chronic pain becomes too much. Support groups can be particularly helpful when people living with chronic pain feel as though nobody else understands their struggle. In reality, many people face similar issues when it comes to chronic pain. While this might not make the pain any less severe, it can help lessen the emotional side effects that come with chronic pain.

Advocating for Yourself

Perhaps most importantly, advocating for yourself when chronic pain becomes too much for you to function is absolutely vital to managing your health and happiness. Self-advocacy is the practice of speaking up for your needs. This could mean speaking with your doctor in order to express that the current method of treatment for your pain is not working as effectively as it could be.

Advocating for yourself might also look like asking for accommodations at work. This can be very beneficial to your overall health. Accommodations are very necessary when chronic pain becomes too much to function as you typically would, but they also can help to prevent more pain. For example, if chronic pain makes it challenging for you to take the stairs, having elevator access can reduce the risk of experiencing more pain and might even help you to save the energy that you need to make it through the day.

Moreover, speaking out on the need for digital accessibility can be a useful form of self-advocacy when chronic pain becomes too much to do things physically and leaves you to find other methods of accessing resources or support. Digital access to online support groups, your medical charts, and even using apps to track patterns in your pain are all strategies that might be helpful in better managing the constant discomfort that comes with chronic pain.

When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much, Don’t Sacrifice Yourself

When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much, Don’t Sacrifice YourselfThe biggest takeaway here is that chronic pain can have a significant impact on your quality of life. The trick to living with chronic pain is to find ways to make it more tolerable in the hardest of moments so that you can still find joy and wellness in your day-to-day life. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Pain is complex and people living with chronic pain often have to cope with constant discomfort. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to what people should do when chronic pain becomes too much to cope with. While some people might find relief in certain remedies like pain medication or physical therapy, others must take the time to practice self-care and tend to their mental health.

Whatever coping strategies you might turn to when chronic pain becomes too much, just keep in mind that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice yourself or your well-being. Listen to your body’s needs. Sometimes, the different pains can be an indicator that you need to take a break, get those accommodations, or work to advocate for better pain management. Most of all, practice patience and kindness toward yourself.

It’s easy to become frustrated with your body and your abilities when chronic pain becomes too much to handle. Consider making a list of all of the things you can do in spite of the pain. Or use the support of others who understand the struggles of living with chronic pain. You are not alone in this fight—and you are not without hope. Though it may not feel like it, better days are ahead.

What Do You Do When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much?

What Do You Do When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much?
download our Pain Management Plan PDF

Pain Cream SHOP
  1. I was injured in a car wreck in 2016. I have steadily lost everything I do for recreation. I have a total of 7 compressed or herniated discs in my cervical and lumbar spine. I am not a candidate for surgery. My pain has had me keeping a suicide journal for about 18 months. My pain management doctor covers their ears to what they do not want to hear. When I stopped being able to perform basic hygiene tasks (It has been 2+ months since I have been able to shower or bathe. Wet wash cloths or treated wipes are my only option.) when I first told my doctor about that, they stopped asking the question. The end is near. My doctor has not adjusted my medication in over 18 months. Last night I literally cradled a weapon for over an hour.

    I am not alone. My story is far more common than anyone wants to admit. I probably won’t make it to 2024. How many more of me will the US kill before we admit that we are committing human rights violations on a scale that should result in sanctions from the UN? My death will be swept under the rug and go unnoticed. How many of us have to die before people take notice?

    Literally to post this I give a fake name, use a vpn, and a disposable email. I fear retaliation from my pain management doctor. (Who is nothing more than a feared extension of law enforcement. Do no harm is the biggest joke in medicine these days.)

  2. I am so incapacitated I can’t move anymore, can’t go to the bathroom, can’t shower, so much pain I can’t eat. Losing weight at the rate of a pound a day. Nothing I have tried works. Pain medication is barely working. No one will help. So looking forward to death.

    • You’re not alone in your thoughts. I to fully understand awaiting death. I feel no one is willing to help because of all the people out there who takes advantage of lying about having chronic pain. We get shoved in the group of “drug seekers “ and nothing more. This is truly not fair! We have true pain and have the right to live the best we can without fear of suffering in pain. I have said so many times why can’t I be believed? How can I prove to you that I am more than just a faker.
      My self esteem alone feels like it’s in competition for my pain level of the day!

  3. As I read the comments they mirror at lot of my feelings as I struggle daily just to function with this Chronic Pain. Its a struggle to get out of bed because soon as you wake and try to move here come those stabbing pains, shooting down your back and legs. After so long, you feel like your never gone get the help and relief you need just to function on a daily basis and it all plays a part on your mental Health because you start feel like you cant take it anymore and your at end of your rope. Its a battle to stay above water when you living with chronic pain and medication dont work and if it help out a little it only last for couple hours and here come those aches and pain again. You feel alone, helpless, worthless which leads to Anxiety & Depression cause its nothing you can do and Doctor tell you you tried all the pain meds and they dont work, pain stimulator dont work, injections dont work. Its make you feel like nobody listening or believes your really sufferring. If you havent dealt with Chronic Pain you wouldnt understand the STRUGGLE.

  4. I’ve been living with chronic pain day and night for yrs now I m live on a time alarm clock day and nite I take hydrocodone 10 no it worked for a week now some times it works and some times it doesn’t the pain is beyond regular pain

  5. A close relative of mine had a tumor removed from her neck and is left with chronic pain of the type described by Jessica above. Nan (also above) brought up the possibility of Canada and euthanasia. Bravo, Nan. There’s a scene in the British movie “Soylent Green” (1973) where an elderly man (played by Edward G. Robinson) goes to a euthansia center and is treated to a dignified death. Although the film is about a dystopian future, this scene marked me as highly civilized. In that regard, our society is barbaric and a total disgrace pretending to be civilized. It’s turned me off religious cults and political parties because they’re responsible for the government policies that make people suffer needlessly by imposing their own infantile superstitions on the general public and law makers. If this dysfunctional society of ours had any pretensions to being civilized, it would introduce the sort of euthanasia centers show in the film. Treating us like ignorant children is an insult to humanity. America’s attitude to Dr Jack Kervorkian showed the childish and superstititious nature of the population.

  6. I agree. I have had 8 disc surgeries. From my neck to my tailbone. When I had the S1L5 rupture fixed the doctor fractured my vertebrae he never said anything, it wasnt until I had my L5 fixed the surgeon found the fracture. Now I have arthritis, it is bad at they base of my head. Getting shots again. I have been doing this for more than 20 years and like most, in am so tired. No I am exhausted.

  7. Pain, for me, has become part of a vicious, nasty cycle that I cannot break no matter what i try or how much help I ask for. Sleep is a struggle, constantly disturbed, and that’s on top of a sleep disorder thar I have separate from pain. The constant exhaustion of living with pain is compounded by the lack of quality sleep. I have no energy because of the pain and the sleep issues, and in theory i would like to be able to go for walks, move my body, but once again the cycle of pain, no sleep, no energy, leave me with only enough to (barely) get through the day. The isolation is intense – It’s not the being alone that gets me as I am an introvert who does better by myself , plus my dogs are my forever chosen buddies.. it is that people just don’t get it, the depths and severity of the pain and that there is no small corner of my existence that is unaffected by the pain. And “people” who don’t get it includes doctors. If someone is desperate for mental health help and they ask a professional for said help, they are praised. Whereas someone who is desperate with chronic physical pain and has been through repeated failed treatments, should they beg for relief, should they lay out their sheer despair, they would be hospitalized, said to be a danger to themselves, let go by the medical practice. On top of the pain, the impossibly thin line I’m trying to walk by using the right language, advocating properly for myself while not breaking down completely and showing the doctor how at the end of my rope I am, have been for too long. The whole attitude of doctors dealing with chronic pain patients is — you’ve been living with this for a while, this is not an emergency and there is zero urgency– you can wait for months to get an appointment, months to get back for treatment, you can wait while we s l o w l y try this or that for pain relief, and really, you’ll be fine and can wait and will wait and maybe something will help or maybe nothing will. I look at the quality of my life and wonder what the hangup is with providing pain medication if it is prescribed, taken, monitored responsibly… afraid I’m going to sleep all day? Already doing it. Afraid I won’t be able to work? Already done. Afraid my mental and physical health will suffer? Done. Scared I will withdraw from normal healthy daily activities? Done that too. I don’t want to get high, I want to be functional. I know having no pain is unrealistic, that’s not my goal, I want to be able to breathe, to walk, to lie down without excruciating pain.
    It is all so exhausting and I am so exhausted. I wish I had a better answer to the original question of what I do when chronic pain gets to be too much, I have no good answer and really no answer at all.

    So sorry for everyone who is in this same stinkin’ leaking boat that constantly feels like it’s sinking and they are alone without a life-raft.

    • I feel the exact same way you do still struggling to find a doctor to help me I’ve been in constant excruciating pain for almost 20yrs doctors just don’t care about their patients anymore like they used to it would be nice to just have someone believe me so they can help me

    • Your words brought tears to my eyes. They are the same ones I experience. I feel I have put forth every effort to make myself heard and understood by my doctors. I relay the intense pain I feel with every movement I make. I receive no pain medication from my doctors regardless of the plea I make for help. The doctors say that pain medication will not heal my damaged joints therefore there’s no benefit in taking it. I reply that at least I could function and feel relief. Then they say it’s addicting. If the doctor prescribes and controls the amount you take then what’s the issue?? I can’t take what’s not prescribed. It’s so frustrating and so infuriating to not be heard, to have feelings not respected. When the pain out weighs any moments of relief. When you have no options. What’s left?

  8. From most of the comments, it is plainly obvious there is no help. Talking with others and online chat/support is an unfunny joke. CBT and talk therapy is useless. Physical therapy and CBT did nothing. Nerve meds, do nothing. Nothing is working and my pain increases. I now also have “unexplained swelling”. I’m angry and tired of doctors failing me. Articles that push things that we’ve already been doing and using for decades, is useless. It adds to the stigma that we don’t try and it is mental. It is not mental. I did these all these things with conviction and hope. I can’t do this much longer. Nothing wrong with my mind. It is the never ending aching and burning in my bones, muscles, and ligaments. My muscles are null. I’m fatigued daily. And the research and seeing how lost everybody is in regards to chronic pain/fatigue, brings me one step closer to Canada and euthanasia.

    • I can fully relate, I feel totally let down by the medical profession, I’m 52 and was using a walking stick until I fell and broke my arm and shoulder at the same time, my doc changed my pain relief for 10 days and when I went back to order my pain meds that I have been on for years they had removed them from my repeat order and will not reinstate them! I’m now in a wheelchair in constant pain and it’s getting to me in the same way as you, finding it very difficult to see why or how I can continue in this non life agony. I feel like there is no point as I can’t take a lot more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!