Your Family & Friends

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A supportive family and good friends can encourage you during tough times and offer help when you need it.

Your family & friends likely share similar feelings of frustration & confusion. Many of their responses to your condition may fall into two categories: Caretaking & Punishing.

Other’s Reponses to your Pain Condition

Caretaking Neutral Punitive (punishing)
Overly care-taking Not asking about pain/symptoms Try to help but can’t
Asking about your pain often Diverting/distracting (redirecting focus) Frustrated
Taking on more responsibility “what would they tell you at your pain rehabilitation program?” Angry/resentful
“pillow fluffing” (unnecessarily pampering) Things seem “normal” Guilty

Coaching your loved ones:

  • Let loved ones know that the most helpful response is to remain neutral
  • Punishing & caretaking responses: encourage you to focus on pain & symptoms rather than on rehabilitation.
  • Talk to your loved ones and let them know what helps you
  • Allow your loved ones the opportunity to express their feelings about your pain

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