According to Statistics Canada, 1.5 million Canadians between the age of 12 to 44 reported having chronic pain. While pain is natural reaction to injury caused to the body, pain that lasts for more than three months is considered chronic and may need to be addressed. Chronic pain may be a result of illness, such as cancer, fibromyalgia or arthritis, or it can be due to an accident that causes damage to the body. If left unaddressed, chronic pain could lead to anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, substance use and abuse, and can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to function normally, resulting in poor school or job attendance. Pain that is felt consistently can also have a great impact on a person’s emotional and psychological well-being, which can be addressed with the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist.
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain issues, including anxiety and depression, can be treated through the use of medication, psychotherapy or a combination of these two approaches. If you think you may be experiencing some of the symptoms of chronic pain, speak with your family doctor. Common psychotherapy treatments for chronic pain include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which may focus on mindfulness and relaxation training, or Interpersonal Therapy.
Additional Resources for Pain Management
Canadian Psychological Association:
American Psychological Association:
Canadian Pain Society:
Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability: