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Chronic Pain


  • Anxiety disorder due to a general medical condition

  • Sedative, hypnotic AND/OR anxiolytic-induced sexual dysfunction

  • Mood disorder with depressive features due to general medical condition

  • Mood disorder with manic features due to general medical condition

  • Mood disorder with mixed features due to general medical condition

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Pain disorder associated with medical and psychological disorder



  • Acquire and utilize the necessary pain management skills.

  • Regulate pain in order to maximize daily functioning and return to productive employment.

  • Find relief from pain and build renewed contentment and joy in performing activities of everyday life.

  • Find an escape route from the pain.

  • Accept the chronic pain and move on with life as much as possible.

  • Lessen daily suffering from pain.

Behavioral Definitions


  • Experiences pain beyond the normal healing process (6 months or more) that significantly limits physical activities.

  • Complains of generalized pain in many joints, muscles, and bones that debilitates normal functioning.

  • Uses increased amounts of medications with little, if any, pain relief.

  • Experiences tension, migraine, cluster, or chronic daily headaches of unknown origin.

  • Experiences back or neck pain, interstitial cystitis, or diabetic neuropathy.

  • Experiences intermittent pain such as that related to rheumatoid arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Has decreased or stopped activities such as work, household chores, socializing, exercise, sex, or other pleasurable activities because of pain.

  • Experiences an increase in general physical discomfort (e.g., fatigue, night sweats, insomnia, muscle tension, body aches).

  • Exhibits signs and symptoms of depression.

  • Makes statements like "I can't do what I used to"; "No one understands me"; "Why me?"; "When will this go away?"; "I can't take this pain anymore"; and "I can't go on."



  • Pain Disorder Associated With Both Psychological Factors and a General Medical Condition

  • Pain Disorder Associated With Psychological Factors

  • Somatization Disorder

  • Conversion Disorder

  • Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Sexual Dysfunction NOS

  • Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Dependence

  • Polysubstance Dependence

What is Chronic Pain? 

Chronic pain is pain that persists beyond the usual healing time for an injury or illness. It's generally defined as pain that lasts for longer than  3 months. Here's a more detailed breakdown of chronic pain:

Persistence: The pain isn't temporary and doesn't go away after the body heals from an injury or illness.

Duration: It lasts for a significant amount of time, typically exceeding 3 months.

Variability: Chronic pain can be constant or come and go in intensity and frequency.

Impact: It can significantly affect a person's daily life, interfering with work, sleep, relationships, and overall well-being.

There are various causes of chronic pain, and sometimes the underlying cause can't be identified. Here are some common causes:

Musculoskeletal conditions: Arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia are some examples.

Nerve damage: This can be caused by conditions like diabetes, shingles, or injuries.

Headaches: Migraines and tension headaches are common types of chronic headaches.

Cancer pain: Chronic pain can be a symptom of cancer or its treatment.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can cause chronic abdominal pain.

Effects of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain's effects extend far beyond the physical discomfort. It can reach into a person's mental, emotional, social, and even professional life. Here's a closer look at how chronic pain can cast a long shadow:

Physical Effects: Chronic pain can take a toll on the body. It can lead to fatigue, sleep problems, muscle tension, and headaches. In severe cases, it can limit mobility and make it difficult to perform daily activities.

Mental and Emotional Effects: Living with constant pain can be emotionally draining. It can lead to anxiety, depression, frustration, and anger. People with chronic pain may also experience feelings of isolation and helplessness.

Social Effects: Chronic pain can make it difficult to socialize and participate in activities you once enjoyed. It can strain relationships with family and friends who may not understand the challenges of living with pain.

Work and Finances: Chronic pain can affect your ability to work and can lead to job loss or decreased productivity. The cost of treatment for chronic pain can also be a financial burden.

How does Chronic Pain affect your life?

Chronic pain can have profound effects on various aspects of an individual's life, including:

Physical Health: Chronic pain can cause persistent discomfort, fatigue, and limitations in mobility, impacting one's ability to perform daily activities and participate in physical exercise or recreational pursuits.

Emotional Well-being: Living with chronic pain can lead to emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, irritability, and feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. 

Social Relationships: Chronic pain can strain relationships with family members, friends, and colleagues. Individuals may become less able to participate in social activities, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

Occupational Functioning: Chronic pain can impact one's ability to work or maintain employment.

Financial Stability: Managing chronic pain often requires medical treatments, therapies, and medications, which can be costly. 

Self-esteem and Identity: Individuals may struggle with feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness due to their inability to function as they did before the onset of pain. This can lead to a loss of confidence and self-esteem over time.

Sleep Patterns: Chronic pain often disrupts sleep patterns, leading to insomnia, frequent awakenings, or non-restorative sleep.

Quality of Life: It can affect virtually every aspect of a person's existence, from their physical health and emotional well-being to their relationships, work, and leisure activities. 

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