Pain Psychology – Opportunities to Participate

Pain Psychology - Opportunities to Participate

The impact of the various forms of “shelter-in-place” that are being imposed across the world are now impacting literally billions of people—up to 3-billion people according to some estimates.

We have been exploring the impact of this radical change in how we live on our audience—chronic pain patients and the people who love them and who treat them.

Turns out exploring the idea of assessing the psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it has been the topic of a quite a bit of research—which Lancet gathered and published earlier this year.

Lancet research can be seen here.

Two respected pain patient advocacy organizations are paying attention to the issue and offering discussions with clinical psychologists next week.

US Pain—May 4—7 pm EDT

Dr. Shamin Ladhani, PsyD, a pain psychologist, will discuss strategies for staying mentally well during a crisis-including the current pandemic.

She will also explain some of the emotions we experience during times of crisis, and talk about how stress affects the immune system, which is especially relevant for those with chronic illness.

She currently works as a pain psychologist in an interdisciplinary pain management center at Ascension Healthcare in Racine, Wisconsin.

To register for the webinar, click here.

RSDSA—May 7—7 pm EDT

Our friends at RSDSA are also offering a Facebook Live event with a clinical psychologist who has been dealing with Complex Pain Regional Syndrome (CRPS) for over a decade.

Dr. Melanie Levine is a New York City-based clinical psychologist with an expertise in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Here is the RSDSA Facebook page.

By the way, if you want to read Dr. Levine’s story on how she has managed her own pain journey, read here.

Why We Tell You About These Events

Reading the commentary from our audience about the difficulty they are having managing what, in many cases, are already challenging lives have spurred us to make sure that you know about these types of events. They serve as an opportunity to listen, to partake and learn some things that may help you and your family better handle these unusual times.

Featured image: ID 129942444 © Artur Szczybylo |

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Janie Dee

Life for me really hasn’t changed. Living with chronic pain has you self isolating most of the time. Not by choice but because my doctor won’t prescribe me pain meds sufficient to manage my pain. Also nothing for break through pain. My life was much better when my G.P. who had know me for years and knew I asked for his help to get off all the [edit] the “specialist” had me on, so much medication that I was nodding off. I have never ran out, been robbed, had my dog eat, asked for my meds early or dropped my meds in the toilet, never had a negative drug test but I am still treated like a drug addict. My GP retired and his replacement was an idiot and ended up dropping a full dose of my medication before I went to see my pain management doctor. My pain isn’t being managed and it doesn’t look like it will be thanks to the people who believe there is an opioid crisis in this country. There is a difference between legal and illegal drugs doesn’t matter if they are prescribed or not. Why should we get punished for what illegal drug users do? Yet it’s still ok for people to buy and consume all the alcohol they want unchecked. Doesn’t seem right.


If someone wants to do something about the “psychological impact” and “mental health” of chronic pain sufferers during this pandemic, focus on things like Prior Authorizations. How can the insurance companies expect either the pain patients or the doctor’s offices to handle that kind of red tape when everybody is shut down and have been shut down for 6 weeks or more?!

I am suffering through this right now. First of all, I knew that my last PA was to expire in late April. Because of the pandemic, I’ve had a terrible time making contact with my doctor’s office. Eventually, I learned that the office manager had succumbed to the virus, so the office was in complete disarray. Secondly, when posting on social media about the difficulties of PAs during the pandemic, I was told that many/most insurance companies allow the patient to complete the process. I’ve been dealing with chronic pain since 1991, and I have never had that experience. But I called the Prior Authorization department of my insurance company and was immediately and emphatically told that I could NOT handle the PA process myself. I also asked for a one-month extension so that I can get my meds and give my doctor enough time to complete the PA process. Answer - “NO”. Finally, when it came time for my April medication to be filled, a PA was required. I was told that once the PA process began, the insurance company allowed 72 hours for it to be completed. Sure enough, the PA was “denied” on the 3rd day.

What am I supposed to do? I have absolutely no control over the insurance company or the doctor’s office. People say “you can just pay for the prescription”, but this particular medicine costs several thousand dollars - I’ve been on long-term disability for over 25 years. I don’t have that kind of money! So, now I’m without a pain medication that I’ve been prescribed for over 18 years. And it’s like nobody cares. In fact, nobody does care. THAT’S what the “experts” need to help us with.

Thanks for Dr Levine’s RSD story. Adrenaline is a drug and it has side effects. Dr Levine plainly described the dangers of overdosing on adrenaline to force herself to function in a group practice with other people she didn’t get along with. Her RSD started improving as soon as she got out of the toxic work environment and was able to work without constant fear of getting fired.

If adrenaline came in a bottle at the drug store, we would say Dr Levine had Adrenaline Use Disorder. She was on so much of it that it was causing inflammation and was killing the veins in her foot.

But adrenaline doesn’t come in a bottle. We make it in our bodies. Enablers of adrenaline addiction tell us to suck it up and don’t be a baby. When that proves to be bad advice, they pretend we don’t exist and keep pushing more adrenaline to anyone who believes in sucking it up. Folks who really like sucking it up can try adding some cocaine or meth and end up frankly psychotic, all the while insisting that the rest of us are big babies for not sucking it up.

This is what happens when we let ourselves be bullied into sucking it up and pretending it’s normal to suffer.