How does chronic pain cause anxiety in women?

Dr. Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine Specialist

Most women with chronic pain live in a constant state of anxiety and fear. Not only is the pain frightening when it intensifies for no reason, but the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. When you become obsessive about your fears and focus on what “might happen,” you become an obstacle in your quest to conquer the pain. High anxiety can lead to poor sleep, which can result in more pain the next day. Dwelling on fears can lead to feelings of sadness and make you want to be alone, as you stay isolated from family and friends. You may lie awake at night, wondering if your pain will worsen and how you will handle that. You may also worry that your pain is caused by a more serious problem that your doctor has not yet diagnosed. On the other hand, you might be afraid that you’ll have to quit your job because of the constant pain or have to find help to raise your children. Some women worry that their husbands or significant others will abandon them and seek a relationship with a healthy woman.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.