Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

The emotional roller coaster of elusive cures 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Nice long read from writer Joletta Belton, also a knower of extremely stubborn pain: Living well with chronic pain, is it possible? Might it be necessary?

I like her description of what I have always called the “therapy grinder,” and what she describes as “the emotional roller coaster of elusive cures.” That is such an important problem in chronic pain treatment. People with serious chronic pain are often strapped into that roller coaster ride by false hope in bogus and semi-bogus treatments for too long, which greatly delays the next, necessary step in their painful journey: acceptance and surrender, which are usually more therapeutic than the therapy roller coaster/grinder.

That is a doozy of a step I’ve taken personally at least twice now, so it isn’t just theory for me anymore. And I completely agree with Joletta: “It’s not giving up or removing hope, it’s giving hope.” Surrender is not always failure, though they can look damnably similar!

A couple of my most relevant articles: Pain Relief from Personal Growth and Pain is Weird.