Doctors Don’t Take Your Chronic Pain Seriously? Here’s what you can do
“No one really understands how much pain I’m in, even my doctor doesn’t take me seriously.”
It is so frustrating when the people you count on most to help you aren’t there for you.
And it’s beyond humiliating and demoralizing when they hint that you’re dishonest, a drug addict, or that it’s all in your head, rather than recognizing that you have a medical problem that deserves serious attention and HELP.
Here are some scenarios why some doctors don’t take chronic pain seriously
- They think patients are malingering — exaggerating or inventing pain for financial reasons
- They think the patient just wants narcotic drugs
- They flatly deny the patient’s own experience, as if it literally did not happen
- They believe the person is neurotic or depressed or otherwise emotionally unstable
- They just can’t relate to your experience
- They don’t understand how pain and your upbringing, experiences and culture interact (for example, many women are taught to be quiet about pain and just fight through it — so when they seek medical help for pain, they’re truly desperate)
So… what now?
Well we have got you covered, Here are 7 quick tips that will help you!
1. Come to your appointments armed with extra information about your condition.
Do your online research on credible websites like the Mayo Clinic, CDC, and research universities, as well as any specialized foundations for your condition, if they exist. It’s hard for a doctor to ignore information from prestigious medical organizations with stellar reputations.
2. Bring someone else with you to appointments.
It can be hard to press for help and answers in the moment, especially if it's really not in your nature to do it. Taking a family member or close friend with you who can ask the follow-up questions you’re too nervous to bring up can help take the pressure off.
3. Keep a list of your symptoms and treatments.
It sounds basic, but this one is big. Write down everything you want to discuss with your doctor, including your symptoms. That way, your concerns won't get lost in the shuffle of the (probably short) conversation. It’s also a good idea to bring up whatever is most important to you at the beginning of the visit.
4. Make sure your doctor wants to get to the root of your pain.
Sometimes your doctor may be focused primarily on addressing the pain you're in right now, but that might not fix the underlying issue. If your doctor writes you a prescription without giving you an explanation of what they think is causing you distress, feel free to ask questions—like what else you can do to find the root cause of your pain.
5. If your doctor isn't taking your pain seriously, it might be time to find a new doctor.
Unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to breaking up with your doctor. If you feel like your doctor is minimizing your concerns, don't be afraid to seek a different opinion.
6. Pair medical treatments with natural remedies
While we definitely recommend seeing a doctor first, we see many people starting off with simple natural home remedies. Getting a knee pillow for sleeping, a lumbar cushion for sitting down or a nice deep tissue massager could do wonders for your pain and greatly improve your day to day living.
7. Lastly.. Breathe
It can be very frustrating while dealing with chronic pain, and sometimes we have to remind ourselves to keep calm and breathe.