Chronic pain isn't talked about much outside of its own community. This is kind of baffling considering how many people have experienced it or currently experience it. I know a lot of people who have or are suffering from chronic pain, and I've seen what it can do to a person. At the same time, nothing has made me appreciate the ability of human beings to adapt and survive more than chronic pain and illness. You haven't seen strength until you've witnessed someone deal with chronic pain.
On the other hand, I can understand why it's not talked about more. People with chronic pain often stop talking about it after a short period of time, in no small part due to the inability of others to properly handle the subject. And non-chronic pain people don't want to hear about it because we can't do much about it. We can't stop the pain from hurting our loved ones, and it's hard for us to imagine both the pain and how they could possibly deal with it for such a long time. This creates anxiety, so we try to avoid it. We convince ourselves that what they're experiencing isn't that bad, that they're just dramatic or seeking attention. I've found myself somehow forgetting that loved ones are sick and in pain for periods of time in spite of how much it affects their lives.
Those human defense mechanisms.
We who are not chronically ill and not experiencing chronic pain need to do better. We need to stop letting our defense mechanisms rule us so that we can help. Here are some ways you can do better for people in chronic pain:
This is What Chronic Pain Sufferers Want You to Know
The last item talks specifically about how to offer help and little things you can do to help. This article was great educational material for me, so hopefully it will be for most of my fellow non-chronic pain folks.