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Old 02-15-2007, 05:15 PM   #1
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Pain & childhood abuse

I have fibromyalgia and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. I have had many different treatments including stellate ganglion blocks, PT (which made my knees worse), been on many meds, seen dozens of doctors, use a TENS, lidoderm patches, etc. I am again seeing a therapist to help me cope with the pain, etc from the RSD. One of the things that keeps coming back in my sessions is the abusive childhood I had. My sister has MS and my step-brother (no genetics there) has fibromyalgia. The rest of the families are good with no health problems. I wonder if there could possibly be a connection between pain/neuropathic problems and abusive childhoods. Does anyone have any knowledge or ideas regarding this?
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

I dont know about the connection you ask about, some other poster may be able to answer that. I did want to know how/what kind of things your therapist is doing to help you cope with your pain? I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder partially due to my childhood and caregiver issues, I too have a therapist, and I see my previous posts show I have current issues relating to fear, anger, and trust issues and my pain is affected by it all. I just thought I would like to know how other therapists are helping others with their pain.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

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Originally Posted by mzpain View Post
I dont know about the connection you ask about, some other poster may be able to answer that. I did want to know how/what kind of things your therapist is doing to help you cope with your pain? I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder partially due to my childhood and caregiver issues, I too have a therapist, and I see my previous posts show I have current issues relating to fear, anger, and trust issues and my pain is affected by it all. I just thought I would like to know how other therapists are helping others with their pain.

 
Old 02-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

I have fear and trust issues also. One of things that has helped me is quided imagery. I have a CD that I listen to for relaxation and supposedly healing. I know for sure that it lowers my blood pressure and when I got the stellate ganglion blocks, the doctor said I was the calmist patient he had & wanted to know how I did it. I was mentally doing what I learned from the CD. Another thing the therapist does is validate my feelings and let me know that what happened to me was wrong. Amazing to think that kids often take on so much.
Emotions do affect my pain also.
Hope I could offer some help.
Linmarie

 
Old 02-16-2007, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Hi Linmarie, Although my problems aren't imvisable, so docs can't play the psyh card as easily, Seeng a psych or shrink has always been part of PM in the 17 years I'be been doing this. At the very least it's a medical profesional to bounce ideas off of that more intested in how you cope than your actual level of pain.That's just one part of pain management

There absolutely are several theories on chroic pain and childhood abuse. The Ones I'm aware of were regional type pain at the sight of injury or abuse, but stress definitely has an impact on pain, and things that generate stress like having to face family with unresolved issues could certainly trigger a flair.

The theories range from the general knowlege of stress increasing pain ike the last scenario to something almost like Phantom pain caused by abusive injuries like sodomy. Localized pain at the sight of abuse. It's another example of nerve memory and the effect the psyche has on how we percieve and process pain.Phantom pain, neulagia, or clear nevre damage like stroke patients is pretty much the same in the way it effects a person. The treatmanet may very a little but I wouldn't dismiss someones pain simply because nothing unusual is seen in an Xray. They don't show nerves or the way we process pain.

There is nothing to be ashamed of by including pain psychology or therapy in what works to manage and cope with your pain. I know there is still some kind of stigma attached to seeing a shrink, but If someone describes their pain as life altering, doesn't it make sense to seek profesional help in adjusting and coping with the life altering pain. I never understood why someone would complain they were had to see a psychologist as part of PM.

Techniques like self hypnosis, bio feedback, guided imagry are tought by psychs and shrinks and can all help during a flair. Long term results are little more iffy, IMO, but that's just my opinion. I know people that get lasting results form some of those techniques.

Part of getting to a point where you do feel in a safe place in your mind to use those techniques may require working through some childhood or abuse issues. To answer you question, ABSOLUTELY!! there are Hundreds of PhD's that earned their doctorate proving and publishing the link between chronic pain or regional pain to previous abuse or to other stressors like PTSD.

All the psych stuff seems like an old school now as long as they have all these postent long acting meds available for the asking, but treating the cause is a much better solution than masking the effects.

Welcome and it doesn't make you crazy or your pain any less real if you admit your pain does react to stress and other psych factors. Put me in a room with my MIL and it won't take 5 minutes to have my shoulders so tight my earlobes are touching them. My problem is low back pain from failed surgeries and broken hardwarre ,not neck or shoulder pain but that woman can do it with just a few words. LOL

Take care, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 02-16-2007 at 01:54 PM.

 
Old 02-16-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Thanks Linmarie, that was exactly what I was curious about. I havent ever been in actual pain management or a pain clinic my insur. wont pay for it), but common sense made me attempt to orchestrate coordination of my primary care medical doctor and a psychological therapist to help me because I knew my mental stuff affected my pain and visa-versa. That was over a year ago, but my therapist didnt specialize in that, so I tried one that did but we didnt "click". I went back to my original therapist and suggested he and I work on some of my known childhood abuse issues and inturn that would help my pain. I think working out the childhood baggage, allows me necessary mental strength to cope with my newer pain baggage better. Is that how it is supposed to work?
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Very interesting topic for this board. I just had to give my input...even if nobody else reads it.

I think there is a connection.

Many people, I think, would rather not associate the two, but mental stressors, esp that really good gooey stuff that lurks in the unconscience...but it basically has made you make all the decisions you have in your life...(like a person who needs to help others constantly, otherwise known as the Savior), well, this unconscience stuff needs somewhere to go, and it wears and tears at you in one area until it comes out as a physical problem. I believe reflexology (it might be called something else) charts can give you an idea of places affected, and the connections. I remember someone telling me about it b/c I suffer from multiple back problems, that I can connect completely with injured moments (accicdents, etc...), but that was still a weak part of the body that could not sustain the impact. So, these weak parts , I think, may possibly be connected to emotional (possibly neglected pains) we had in childhood. I don't know if I'd call it "Abuse", but some sort of mental trauma connects to a body part, adding extra strain, and when a big enough impact hits, you have an injury..... and finally, you can verbally tell everyone you are in pain b/c there is an MRI to back you up. Whereas, if you have emotional pain, you might want to cover it up, or send it down below the conscience mind. It's MUCH easier to talk about physical aliments. But it sucks either way, really.

Just my opinion, but I like that you brought up the subject. I think its worth the time to think about it. I hope everyone is having a day with less pain than usual .
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:53 PM   #8
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Thanks for the replies. You all are helping me. I am at the point where the pain is really bad & I'm willing to research all the options. Amazing that I hadn't connected the old emotional wounds to my current condition until recently. I still tried to ignore the remarks I got from my (unsupportive) family. I did a good job when I was well but now? I guess I need to get away from current & old stressors (working with my therapist). I'm not sure what reflexology is but I will look into it.
Hope you all are having low pain days. Thanks again.
Linmarie

 
Old 02-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

I know what you mean about unsupportive family. Mine is sooo dysfunctional it is embarrassing! My mother just died 12/16/06 and I walked away from my "old" family and dont care to ever have anything to do with them. I have enough problems and sure dont need their drama. I just got back from seeing my therapist today and he agrees with me that I should work on me and dont need them they only cause unnecessary grief. Hope you have a good day Take Care
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:56 PM   #10
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

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Originally Posted by mzpain View Post
I know what you mean about unsupportive family. Mine is sooo dysfunctional it is embarrassing! My mother just died 12/16/06 and I walked away from my "old" family and dont care to ever have anything to do with them. I have enough problems and sure dont need their drama. I just got back from seeing my therapist today and he agrees with me that I should work on me and dont need them they only cause unnecessary grief. Hope you have a good day Take Care

 
Old 02-20-2007, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Sorry about your mother. Yesterday, my therapist suggested that I might want to walk away from family. She has been telling me that I need to work on myself first.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:35 AM   #12
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

At 3 years my mother smashed my skull on the floor till she fractured my skull. She never told my dad, at that time during the fifties the medical community did little to get to the bottom of such abuse. Today if this happened the child would be removed and the mother would be put in jail. So that is how it all started. A mother who lied, made excuses and when comfronted would become so angry, expect me to forget, and treat me, I was one of 6 kids, differently. She handed the punishment over to my dad, who at 6ft 2 would beat me and the kids so severely that my head would sting for days having it slapped around. He was a WW2 vet with many medals and honors, but came back a crazed animal, no help either at that time for the families they were about to bring into the world, God help the kids. Two more head injuries followed. I made a promise to myself at an early age, to do everything perfect. Be at the top of the class, an honor student, and I left and married my childhood sweetheart at 17. Life was not easy for us. We were together for 47years, married 43 when he suddenly died. We never had that perfect great marriage, but we worked at it so hard and had some wonderful loving years. In 1995, in my 40's my life started to go out of control. Found out I had a rare, 10 in a million disease which could be fatal. Took what medications that were prescribed, and within a year had cancer. It was cured and then one after another thing happened, husband got sick, died, my illness has continued to get even worse, now out of remission. I live in chronic pain, on morphine, percoset, have tried several other pain meds-fentenal etc, and nothing keeps me clear of pain. It is chronic and now that things have gotten out of hand again, an older sister who was the only one in the family that I cared about and her as well, took her life last month. My mother made her feel so worthless, when my sister reached out for help in her hours of dispair my mom started the same on her, but my sister being the kind and gentle soul she was could not stand the hurt and decided to take her life, that was a way for her out of her pain. To think that such families even exist is a horrible thought. Don't expect to ever find anyone on here with the same story as me, we all have different things happen to us in this life, but what does really bother me is people who have had life pretty easy having no empathy for others, with their advice, forget about it, see how upset you get yourself. They turn away when we become widowed, I guess that makes them feel uncomfortable even seeing the pain we widows endure. Make you feel like a third wheel sometimes. This is the reason that I have decided to do things alone in this world. Pride, and hard work, self respect has carried me through this far and I guess as long as I still can tolerate life, I will just push on. Will never understand just how cruel like can be to some.

 
Old 11-07-2011, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

pattianne

thank you for sharing your story-you are not alone and there seems no logical answer as to how some peolple-espescially your parents, can be so cruel and truly evil-maybe because they are in pain and they only know comfort in seeing the suffering of thier own flesh and blood-who really knows- but know this-YOU are not of the same evil/hatred-you
have evolved with compassion and strenght-peace will find those of us who seek it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:02 AM   #14
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

Thank-you for your kind words.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR SUCH ACTS. And to think that they both got away with what they did, still to this day makes me furious. Noone has the right to take a 3yr old child and beat them so violently till they fracture that childs skull, lie, try to blame that child for things that happened, eg. calling me clumbsy etc. I married at 17, in 1965, had a baby at 18 and another at 23. Life was hard for us. I let home with only a gr 10 education, could not get away from those sick evil people soon enough. But I did continue my education, worked opposite shifts from my hubby so the girls would have one parent home. Never turned to drink, drugs whatever, I turned to study and hard work. I found myself working at the radiation dept of a major cancer clinic, had to leave early because of a serious illness, but my girls watched and they also worked hard, both are RN's, working in fields where it matters most, direct patient care, in oncology, ICU, cardiac ICU, and ER medicine. I am proud of them, they must of seen how much a got out of being their for others-patients, and the huge big heart that started to evolve when I got away from such sickness. Someone said, we can't pick our parents, but we do not have to remain in their lives either which I choose to do. I could write here for hours and hours but it is a nice day here up in Canada, so I will go out and enjoy it, not too many nice days left before the snow will start to fly. Write me anytime.

 
Old 11-08-2011, 01:15 PM   #15
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Re: Pain & childhood abuse

pattianne

good for you!! and i will write you again-we have plenty in common-smile and be proud;
you are a strong wonderful mother/person-may you be as free of pain as as can be.
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