But for very many pain patients out there, it just doesn't work that way.
Many painful conditions are incurable. Many injuries lead to secondary problems, which again lead to others, which in time affects the whole body. What affects the body will at some point start to affect your state of mind. It's difficult to be happy, joyful and exuberant when you are dealing with pain and limitations every day.
Like many of you out there, I have met doctors who questioned and even ridiculed my symptoms and said it was "all in my mind". And that's with my quite simple, well defined diagnoses: spinal fracture due to a traffic accident, and rheumatoid arthritis. It's pretty crazy how someone can say that it's "in your mind" when your back has been broken and it hurts, isn't it? Well, imagine what it's like for those suffering RSD, fibromyalgia and many horribly painful syndroms that aren't properly researched and understood yet!?
I feel insulted and angry if anyone, doctor, teacher, friend or family member implies that the pain is in my head and "I need to deal with it". Part of me will shout back: "The pain is in my BODY and I need it treated!"
But at the same time, today I can choose to see myself as a whole.
I am not a random mass of cells put together for no apparent reason. There is a complicated system controlling how those cells interact and change, that neither I nor the doctors fully understand. If we did, there would be no more disease.
What happens to my body affects my mind, and what happens to my mind affects my body.
Choosing to see it this way is empowering me to be in charge of my own healing process. This way, no judgment made by any other person, be they a friend, a colleague, a doctor or other professional health practitioner, can block or stop me on my way towards a pain-free life.