NHS Lothian

Thoughts and pain

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Psychologists who study pain have found that living with chronic pain can change the way you think about yourself and the world around you. Your thoughts may begin to focus more on your worries and on the difficulties you’re facing. You may begin to spend time thinking:


“I can’t cope with this pain”

“I’m a burden”

“I’m embarrassing myself”

“The future looks bleak”


These changes to your thoughts can have a negative impact on your mood. You may become anxious or depressed. These emotions can actually make your pain feel worse. So it’s important that you begin to notice your thoughts and understand how they may be affecting your pain.

Managing your thoughts can be tricky, so have a look at the ‘Manage’ section of this website for some helpful tips.

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