I just watched a great TEDx Talk from Dr. Trung Ngo about resilience that everyone who lives with chronic pain or treats chronic pain should watch.
He talks about how there are three types of people:
I can identify with all three types during my personal journey with pain. Early in my journey, I was the victim. It was the surgeon's fault for my pain. I was set on making that doctor pay for his mistake and make my pain go away.
As the pain continued, I became the catastrophizer. It quickly became gloom and doom. I become fearful of the pain. I worried about all the terrible things that might happen because of the pain. And I worried about my future and the future of my family.
Fortunately, my mindset changed to resiliency. Many thanks to the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehabilitation Center for helping me transition to that stage.
How to be resilient
According to Dr. Ngo, the keys to being resilient:
* Ojala, T., Häkkinen, A., Karppinen, J., Sipilä, K., Suutama, T., & Piirainen, A. (2014). Chronic pain affects the whole person – a phenomenological study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(4), 363–371. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.923522
Tom Bowen is a chronic pain patient who turned into an advocate, educator, and collaborator.