Bipolar & Chronic Pain – Getting a Grip on it.

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For 6 months now I have had chronic eye pain.  It’s really starting to wear me down and affect my mood and my quality of life is suffering.  As each day goes on I can feel myself getting more depressed and a whole lot crankier.  I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s going on and on with no end in sight.  Sometimes it is both eyes, sometimes just the left or the right, there is no pattern to it but it is always there nagging at me.

When you have normal moods it’s hard enough to deal with chronic pain day in and day out, so imagine how hard it is when you have mental health issues to deal with too.  It totally messes with your head.  As a person with bipolar and chronic pain I sometimes feel like I am losing the plot so I have been looking into ways to manage pain effectively to make life a little easier on myself and anyone else who may read this.

It’s not easy because the pain is there no matter what I do.  I can’t take endone (Oxycodone) permanently as my doctor will only prescribe them during a really severe flare up, so I ration them and use them only when I am feeling like I am not coping too well.

So what can I do to help myself to alleviate pain?

Painkillers

Take painkillers responsibly according to your doctor or pharmacists guidelines.  When you are in pain it is too easy to take more meds than the recommended dose in order to stop the pain.  Be mindful of how many you have taken and when the next dose is due.

Relax

Relaxation techniques can really help with pain relief by reducing muscle tension.  Sit in a quiet area and breathe deeply, keep your body relaxed and limp.  Play some soothing music or a relaxation CD or App that you can download from either the Apple store or the Google play store.  Don’t know how that will work with my eyes but relaxing has got to be good right.

Distraction

Any activity that occupies your attention can be used for distraction.  This can be anything, watching TV, reading a book or a craft activity.  Doing an activity that you enjoy can help to divert your mind from the pain.

Cold or Heat Packs

Depending on the type of pain and its location cold or heat packs can be used to alleviate pain.  I’m definitely going to try a heat pack across my eyes to try and soothe the area.  I reckon that would be wonderfully relaxing.

If you are in pain like I am, try some of these techniques, one of them may just work.  As I have a very low pain threshold due to fibromyalgia I personally I go for the pain killers first to take the edge off of it and then do the relaxation secondary to the meds.  That works better for me rather than just going straight to the relaxation as I find it really difficult to relax when I am in a lot of pain.

Still riding that roller coaster!

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