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How do women get caught in the cycle of chronic pain?

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
When pain first begins, most women feel hopeful that the pain will be short-term and will not intrude on their active lifestyles. However, after a few months of constant pain and no relief, your quality of life may start to suffer. Your doctor may be unable to find adequate pain treatment and tell you that surgery is not the answer. As you continue day-after-day in pain, feelings of anger and disappointment increase. You may find that your use of narcotics, alcohol, or other drugs may increase as you try to get relief. As time goes on, there is more loss of activity, and there may be even heavier use of narcotics and alcohol to mask the pain. You may lose your appetite, resulting in weight loss. On the other hand, sometimes the added stress of chronic pain may cause you to eat excessively and gain weight. As the pain continues without relief, marital problems or other relationship troubles may increase. You may become angry with your doctor for not ending your pain. Many women change doctors, trying to find someone who can recommend new treatment. With the passing of time, you may have less hope that something will actually work to relieve the pain.

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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.