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Pain that may or may not be real


scrappy
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I was just wondering if anyone else had this sort of experience or had any advice. I shared with my doctor a few months ago that I have some injuries from things that happened when I was younger and they sometimes seem to still hurt a lot. I'm talking about injuries that happened a couple decades ago. I asked him why that was. He said it might be nerve damage, but there was also a very real possibility that it was psychosomatic. Like somehow memories of the trauma would make the pain feel like it was there again when it wasn't. Has anyone experienced this? Is the pain just all in my head?

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Go with what works? If it resolves with therapy, then it was psychosomatic. If it resolves with a doctor, then it was physical. If it takes both, then it was both.... The important thing is that you are in pain and that you matter and getting healthy is a possibility for you.

Do you worry that pain that is psychosomatic is less important? A doctor might give you that impression; that would only be because they treat physical pain and wouldn't know how to treat the other.

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There are no fake problems. Are there? If it's causing you trouble, it's causing you trouble.

I know there's a myth in our society that we're supposed to fix our mental problems ourselves (that is, alone and without help), but that our physical problems require seeking medical attention, getting more rest, and basically doing whatever the doctor prescribes. Do you think there's a reasonable difference, though?

You could maybe say that we "cause" our mental problems, through our choices. But they fix skiers' broken legs, don't they? Not to anger any skiers out there, but they probably wouldn't have broken their legs if they made different choices. Or people might not have caught that nasty cold if only they had chosen to stay warm and dry. We don't punish them for that, unless maybe you hate chicken soup.

Or maybe they would have caught cold and got sick anyway; we might not be able to pinpoint their incorrect choice. But can you say which choice "gave" you a mental problem, any more clearly? Most of us are raised by parents with problems of their own (simply because all humans have problems of their own), and some of us may have missed part of our educations that way, through no choice of our own (we definitely don't get to choose our parents.) That's not blame for the parents, just absolution for the child.

So why not look at it as getting help for a real problem, just one that's in your thoughts instead of in your limbs?

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