Doctor List Newsletter Free/Low Cost Medication Community Store Home

Dealing with Anger, Depression and Loss of Identity.

Both veterans and newly diagnosed pain patients are familiar with the rollercoaster of emotions that become a permanent part of their life.

Depression and helplessness seep into your daily life as you endure endless medical tests and doctor visits searching for answers.

Anger rears its ugly head as you grapple with the why me's.

Identity loss can occur when forced to give up a valued career, or the role of breadwinner for your family. Identity loss does not only affect career driven people, loss of self-worth can appear if you feel you can no longer be a good parent or spouse, artist, writer, musician, community volunteer or friend.

These emotions can clash together, leaving you confused and depressed. The first thing you need to realize is that you are NOT alone. Millions of people suffering with chronic pain and fatigue join together in local and online support groups. Reach out to those who understand what you are feeling and I guarantee you will no longer feel life is hopeless. One bad thought can overshadow the good when you allow your mind to become fixated on it. Getting feedback from others can often help refocus your thoughts and priorities.

How do these inner feelings hold you back? It shows its face in your job, career, relationships and life. The biggest impact reflects on how you feel about yourself. Everyone has their own story, yet some of us put life's lessons to work and succeed, while others of us stay mired in muck.

How do you overcome negativity, that's ingrained in your soul? Change takes time and focus, and you have to want it. There are steps you can take to help you find the road to change and inner peace.

  • Keep a journal of your thoughts, making sure to write down good things that happen to you everyday in capital letters.

  • Remind yourself daily that you did not ask to be sick and that millions of others deal with chronic pain.

  • Plan ahead so deadlines don't create an unexpected crisis.

  • Make a list of your strengths and the things you accomplish during the day.

  • Search for a new passion. Maybe you have a hidden talent ready to explode such as writing, photography or helping others.

  • Consider counceling and remember to be open and honest.

  • Don't give up! Read self-help books, join a support group or confide in a good friend.

  • Try to do something positive each day. Write a loved one a note letting them know they are special. Drop a dollar into a charity container, let someone with fewer items cut in front of you in a check out line or let someone merge in heavy traffic. Just knowing one act of kindness can change someones day will make you feel great.

  • Be realistic when making life changes to benefit your health. You may believe that giving up caffeine, fat or nicotine can improve your health, but it is unrealistic to think you can give everything up at once. Make changes, but make them one at a time on a realistic schedule and congratulate yourself over every step, no matter how small.

  • Think of your medications as your friend. You are no more addicted to these medications than a person who needs insulin to stay healthy or a person who needs glasses. If a medication can help you lead a functional life embrace it, and be thankful that the science is available.

  • Put yourself into other people's shoes, things could always be worse.

It's only within you to change your own beliefs and habits.

It doesn't matter where you are, what matters is where you want to go. If you want to make things different, you have to recognize your own behavior and choices before you can make a change. There is no magic bullet, you hold the power in your own hands. Negativity may be as simple as changing a bad thought or habit to a good one. Everything is possible and the only limits are the ones encased in the walls of your own mind. Start a new journey today.

Jane Kohler
Copyright 2008