What would pain look like if it had to be described visually?
Renowned visual artist Trina Merry met with eight people living with chronic pain from across the country and used body pain to tell their stories and articulate their experiences.
These works will be on display in an exhibition at New York City’s Oculus from December 12-15. You will also be able to view it on social medial through social media and ThisIsPain.Com which will be unveiled this week.
That’s right what their pain looks like painted on their bodies.
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSI) (“BDSI”) launched this initiative that aims to improve the lives of Americans living with chronic pain.
“People living with chronic pain face unimaginable hurdles and struggles in their daily lives and I believe that we can alleviate some of the challenges they face by first drawing attention to what it is really like to live with pain.” stated Herm Cukier, CEO of BDSI. “We know that change is borne out of a communal desire to act and that is exactly what we need to achieve to impact the lives of those living with chronic pain.”
Those who have gone to a doctor to explain their pain or tried to tell a co-worker or even a family member what pain is often are frustrated by the lack of understanding.
As Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association puts it, “literally painting the picture can help family and friends better understand and help eradicate the stigma that often comes with chronic pain.
In a recent interview with the National Pain Report, Cukier, Cowan and Mandy Francis, a Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner stressed that this campaign—which will have other elements—will go on for some time—including celebrities and artists who have chronic pain.
Francis believes these photos can be used to make sure “the picture of chronic pain is ingrained and encourage more conversations between patients and their providers.”
For BDSI’s Cukier the goal of the campaign is clear.
“The campaign is intended to drive change.”
The campaign is designed to achieve four things:
- Wider societal recognition of chronic pain as a disease state, not a symptom;
- Policy change to increase access to safe and effective treatment options for chronic pain individuals living with chronic pain;
- Increased research funding to improve existing treatments and develop innovative therapies for individuals living with chronic pain;
- Fairer treatment and representation in the workplace.
Penney Cowan of the ACPA says of the exhibition, “If we can encourage people to take a moment out of their day to learn about the disease and really see how this disease impacts those living with chronic pain , we believe we can start to generate the support we need to effect real change.”
What does your pain look like?
Tell us in the commentary section.
Photo Credit: Trina Merry
Photo Caption: This Is Pain: Artwork by Trina Merry