Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, 20% of the world's population suffers from chronic pain? And that of those 1,3 billion people, only 2% get to see a pain specialist?
According to the European Pain Survey my native country Norway is at the top of the list worldwide, with a whopping 30% of the population reported to suffer chronic pain. But still... even though it's one of the richest countries in the world, only 8% of those who suffer chronic pain in Norway have ever seen a pain specialist. The numbers from the US vary, but the American Pain Society quotes research that shows that 35% of the population suffers from chronic pain, and the actual numbers are said to be between 50 and 90 million, depending on severity and length of pain.
“Chronic pain is one of the most underestimated health care problems in the world today, causing major consequences for the quality of life of the sufferer and a major burden on the health care system in the Western world," said Professor Harald Breivik, President of EFIC "We believe chronic pain is a disease in its own right."
Maybe this seems depressing, but I believe we can find strength in numbers, and just in knowing we are not alone - even as we each often are depressed and isolated in our homes trying to deal with our pain as best as we know how... we are not alone. There are so many out there working to help, both organizations, doctors, caregivers, fellow patients and individuals. And sometimes, all you need to do is reach out your hand... touch the keyboard, and link up.
For example to a pain forum - like Heroes of Healing.