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Living With Chronic Pain

If you experience symptoms of chronic pain, you’re a member of an expansive club that may include up to 40 percent of the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It could be caused by many conditions – sometimes happening concurrently – but the exact cause is unknown. Because of that, chronic pain cannot be cured. The challenge becomes living with chronic pain but, thankfully, there are options to help you manage its symptoms.


When people talk about acute pain, they normally mean a discomfort they can pin on a specific event or illness, like surgery, bone fractures, pain from a root canal, cuts and minor burns, or pregnancy. The pain can be sharp at times but normally subsides when a cut heals, or another condition subsides naturally.

Chronic discomfort is mysterious and puzzling; the Houdini of the pain world. It normally lasts for more than six months. You can feel chronic pain even without an injury or obvious bodily harm. Chronic pain may result from:

  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain
  • Back trouble

Health Conditions May Cause Chronic Pain

Doctors and scientists haven’t identified the Holy Grail of chronic pain – its true source, but research has shown that chronic pain shows up after nerve damage. Our perception of the severity and duration of pain is driven by neurotransmitters in the brain, and when they are weakened, pain receptors fire off more frequently. This has led to the belief that trying to cure a fundamental injury may not reduce chronic pain.

What are some of the causes we can point a finger at (no, not that finger)?

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, which includes harsh, prolonged fatigue that’s often accompanied by pain
  • Endometriosis is an agonizing condition which happens when a woman’s uterine lining grows on the outside of the uterus
  • Fibromyalgia, which is widespread pain in the bones and muscles
  • Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of disorders resulting in excruciating, chronic inflammation inside your digestive tract
  • Interstitial cystitis is a constant disorder causing bladder pressure and pain
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Chronic vulva discomfort (Vulvodynia) which also doesn’t have a cause


Living with chronic pain can be a struggle for individuals and families. Here are several coping strategies which can help make your ordeal manageable:

  • Discuss various treatment options: Physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medicine or creams, or alternatives like ketamine infusion therapy.
  • Be understanding that common emotions of chronic pain – stress, anger, and frustration – aren’t a sign of weakness and don’t make someone a bad person.
  • Be accepting of the pain and move on to begin treating it.
  • Talk about your feelings when they happen, in a friendly manner.
  • Offer compassion and consideration, not condescension. Offer to help but without making a loved one feel powerless: “I’m sure you can do this but let me help just once.”
  • Keep a journal as a positive way to convey your emotions. Writing down your feelings adds much-needed perspective you may have lacked.
  • Every family has its share of problems, but the sudden introduction of chronic pain in a loved one can magnify the drama. Offer thoughtful feedback to a loved one about what’s going on, maybe even arranging for group counseling.
  • Keep your kids in the loop so they understand what’s happening and school them in simple terms relating to chronic pain and what it does to your family. Children need love and reassurance they’re not to blame for someone’s condition.
  • Keep an eye out for depression and be ready to get treatment if needed.
  • The benefit of group support can be medicinal, especially with members who commiserate with the struggles of chronic pain.
  • Managing chronic pain requires compassion and teamwork. Coordinate and reach out to other family members so you’re not the only one providing care.


The road to managing symptoms of chronic pain begins at the same point: Diagnosis. To diagnose chronic pain, you’ll undergo tests such as X-Rays, MRI, or CT-scans, to root out a physical cause, and an Electromyography to uncover signs of nerve damage. Your doctor will know which tools work best.


Our knowledge of living with chronic pain is greater than it seems. One thing we do know is that its symptoms can be managed through innovative therapy, including ketamine which until recently had been used primarily as a pre-surgical anesthetic. If you or a loved one are living with the symptoms of chronic pain we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.


Can You Get Disability For PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of people worldwide who’ve survived a deadly or traumatic event, and it’s a mental illness that is all-inclusive – striking anyone regardless of gender, race, and other socioeconomic markers.


The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

PTSD isn’t curable. Symptoms of the illness may not show up till months following a trauma, but they can be controlled by most people through a combination of clinical care and medication, such as ketamine, if needed.


If you suffer from PTSD, you know all too well the symptoms can be debilitating, even disabling. You avoid people and places with the goal of suppressing traumatic memories. Many others have different opinions with regards to mental health illness, but experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) say a disability is any condition of the body or mind (“impairment”) that makes it tougher for anyone suffering the condition to take part in certain activities (“activity limitation”) and interact with the world around them (“participation restrictions”).

The WHO defines these “disability dimensions” as:

  • Impairment of a person’s mental operation like memory loss, or body function or structure such as loss of vision, or loss of a limb.
  • Activity limitation, like trouble walking, seeing, hearing, or problem-solving.
  • Participation restrictions in everyday life, such as going to work, partaking in social and recreational activities, and seeking preventive and medical care as needed.


Yes. In fact, studies as recently as 2016 show that nearly one-third of all Social Security Disability Insurance recipients got benefits because of several kinds of mental illnesses, including:

  • Anxiety is a part of everyday life, like being at work and suddenly being stressed because you must make a presentation to the company president.
  • PTSD is a mental illness brought on by a traumatic situation, where a person either witnesses death or is threatened by it, and has recurring thoughts or memories about it for months or years after the event happened.

Depending on the severity of the PTSD and your overall health, your doctor or therapist may recommend different treatment options, including the use of ketamine to treat the condition’s symptoms.

  • Bipolar disorder symptoms include mood swings, trouble eating, or problems sleeping.
  • Depression is defined by The Mayo Clinic as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” It’s also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression.
  • Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal eating routines, like anorexia nervosa, where you have an intense fear of gaining weight and severely restrict food consumption. The opposite is bulimia nervosa.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health illness where you have unwanted thoughts about performing an action repeatedly.
  • Personality disorders are behaviors that deviate from normal, acceptable behavior, like paranoid personality disorder.
  • Psychosis is a mental disorder where you see and/or hear something that doesn’t exist and feel like you’re at risk all the time.
  • Schizophrenia is experiencing hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior and speech.

Receiving disability benefits for PTSD depends on proving your condition. Nearly two-thirds of all claims are rejected. To obtain a successful ruling and receive benefits, your application must prove:

  • That your PTSD makes it unreasonable for you to return to work.
  • That your PTSD makes it unlikely that you could handle a different job or kind of work.
  • That your PTSD is expected to persist for at least a year.


To prove that you have become disabled by posttraumatic stress disorder, you must provide clear, indisputable evidence of your condition in two ways:

  • Assertions from a licensed medical doctor or mental health provider. This could be in the form of test results, notes compiled during an exam or therapy, or because of a formal diagnosis.
  • Statements or confirmation by someone who knows you or with whom you’ve interacted – family members, friends, or co-workers for example.


Whether you qualify for disability because of PTSD or not, its symptoms can be treated if you act quickly and are committed to long-term treatment. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has cited many studies about the therapeutic success of ketamine and other related drugs. If you think you suffer from PSTD, contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.

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