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What is Psychiatric Pain Management?

August 4th, 2014 · 3 Comments

I’m back and refreshed after a July vacation.  I hope you’re enjoying your summer too!

Our next topic is psychiatric pain management.  We’ll learn what it is and figure out if you might you benefit from this treatment.

If your doctor has recommended that you considering seeing a pain management psychiatrist or psychologist, it might not be clear exactly why this might be helpful.  You might think, Does my doctor think my pain is all in my head?  or, Will I have to lie on a couch and talk about my dreams?

The answer is no.  No, it’s not all in your head.  And, no, you’ll do other things instead of talking about your childhood.

There are many ways some visits to a pain management psychiatrist might be helpful.  This is a psychiatrist who understands chronic pain, and who can teach you many ways to decrease and cope with pain.  You want to look for someone who specifically has expertise in treating pain.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll look at the benefits of this treatment.  So stay tuned to this series!  Readers, have you visited a pain management psychiatrist?  What was your experience?

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3 responses so far ↓

  • Leslie // Aug 4, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I have seen one when I was enrolled in a pain management program. I had a pain psychologist, pain psychiatrist, pain management doc and a PT. While he did prescribe medications, he was really helpful talking about symptoms, side effects (I had some doozies), and he spent considerable time with me talking about the brain, brain chemistry, neurotransmitters, etc. I gained a good understanding of what was going on as a result of his teaching. He was also the only one to diagnose correctly when I was going through some obscure withdrawal symptoms that other doctors (regular psychiatrist, ER doc, others) didn’t pick up on. He knew them instantly for what they were and was able to get me stabilized.

  • Therese // Aug 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I see a psychologist weekly, she has been very helpful in identifying the “acute stressors” in my life as pain triggers. Some you can remove and others are those “unchosen relationships” such as close relatives that can’t be removed. For those I am learning about setting boundaries and coping skills for troublesome behaviors. In my particular case there is an added benefit that the psych is a former RN and is able to help me understand the neurochemistry and things like medication side effects. I think a pain patient needs to “do their homework”, learn all they can about the mind-body connection, avoid junk websites and make the necessary changes to help manage the condition. It took me several years to understand what could be changed and accept that management has to be my priority. (Read: Quit fighting my condition.)
    Personally I did not find the 15 minute sessions with the psychiatrist as helpful and frankly as vital as the weekly hour with my psychologist.
    How to Cope With Pain has played a very important part in getting me out of bed/depression and back into the life I can have. Thank you.

  • ella // Aug 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    In what state/region of the US do readers have positive experiences with pain management psychiatry and psychology? –Thank you from a fellow reader

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