Opioid addicts often experience chronic pain either as a side effect of withdrawal during a drug detox or as a symptom of an underlying condition. Either way it is important for the friends and family of those with chronic pain to prevent relapse and promote sober living through their support. Here are five ways to support those with chronic pain.
Understand Their Condition
The first step to helping someone with chronic pain is understanding their condition. This includes knowing the details of their pain, addiction recovery, and mental health. Establishing a judgement free environment and talking about these things is the best way to begin this step and provide your support. Doing additional research to learn about things like addiction, chronic pain, and relevant physical and mental conditions can help you gain even more understanding as well.
Be Understanding and Empathetic
Creating an empathetic and understanding atmosphere is key to opening up communication and making the other person comfortable. Doing this usually makes helping a loved one easier because they are more ready to come to you for help and support. This is especially important for those experiencing mental health problems as a result of chronic pain or drug use. A big part of this is being a good listener and being there to comfort your loved one during hard times.
Ask Them How You Can Help
Although helping someone with chronic pain may feel overwhelming, asking them about how you can provide them your support is a great step to make. This way there are no unknown wants or expectations and you can avoid making the other person uncomfortable. Suggesting to them how you can help may be appreciated, but asking is much more respectful and can assist in setting healthy boundaries.
Check In Regularly
Often individuals with chronic pain feel isolated because they have a hard time going out due to their condition. Although physical visits are always nice, a text or a phone call is also a great way to do this. You could also send them a gift if you want to just show to them that you care. Staying in touch make them feel less in pain where they can share their feelings to you.
Look Out For Warning Signs
While asking them how they are it is important to take note of if they show any signs of mental health issues like depression. However, you should be cautious when bringing up this subject with them. You can start by asking about how they are feeling and move on from there. Remember that having a supportive attitude is crucial, especially if topics such as relapse and problems with mood come into the conversation. Doing this can allow you to get them help quickly when needed.
Although helping a loved one with chronic pain can feel daunting, these suggestions can help you take steps in the right direction. Emotional support is often the most valuable thing that you could give to a loved one during tough times, and sometimes this is the only thing that you can do to provide your support.