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mazingerz88's avatar

How do you cope with physical pain?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18445 points ) November 2nd, 2011

I don’t faint at the sight of blood but I do have a low threshold for pain. Recently, I had pain that made me feel I wanted to just shoot myself in the head to end it. Have you ever had terrible pain that almost made you do something desperate? What were the things you did to cope? Were there mental exercises involved? Thanks.

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25 Answers

bongo's avatar

wine helps.

Ayesha's avatar

Wait till you get your menstrual cramps.
:)

cazzie's avatar

I have nerve damage in my neck and down my right side. I used to get blinding headaches that made me so sick with pain I would throw up. Now, they are a bit less. Now, I pass gall stones. Anyone who has passed a gall stone can tell you what that is like. Giving birth to my son was a hang nail in comparison.

The ONLY thing that helps is concentrating on the fact that it will pass and I meditate. I use visual pictures in my mind. I see myself packing up the pain in something soft and dampening, to shield myself from it. I see the gall stone travelling through the duct and visualise an end to the pain.

For my migraine-type headaches, I have an all too limited supply of ibuprofen / sleep aid (I bought them in the US but they aren’t available where I live.) that I take for the worse of them. If I can sleep and get the swelling down, they ease and I can get back to my life.

Before I couldn’t get the anti-inflam/sleep aid, I took hot baths and that helped ease the pain, especially if I caught them early.

I am so sorry you experience this. It is not anything I would wish upon anyone. I sincerely hope you are able to get good professional advice from a doctor or other medical professional and that you find your way out of pain, permanently.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I focus on something completely different from the pain. Really concentrate on something and I can deal with a lot of it.

wundayatta's avatar

Ice helps me with back and neck and head and tooth pain. Probably with other physical pains. They gave it to me after my testicle operation and it worked better than the demerol or darvon or whatever it was.

Sleep works well for head pain. It’s usually gone if I sleep on it.

Pills are also good for head and throat pain.

Honestly, the worst pain I ever felt was depression. That made me want to put a gun to my head. It may not be as sharp as physical pain, but it is just there and it never goes away and there is never any relief and it seems like death is the only way to stop it.

Compared to that, my physical pains seem not nearly as much of a problem. Mental techniques together with ice and pills seem to be all I need—even when recovering from operations.

Ice work because it slows the progress of the prostaglandins. With fewer prostaglandins around, there’s less jangling of the nerves and less pain. These are, of course, technical terms.

Coloma's avatar

Aside from whatever pain management you employ, medications, etc. I find it is best to simply dis-identify with the pain on a mental and emotional level. Meaning, the more you focus your thoughts on your pain, the more all consuming it becomes.

The best methods are engaging in mindfulness, deep breathing and distraction.

The mind cannot multi-task if it is involved in something else.

Reading, watching a DVD, time in nature with a focus on intense observation without thought are all helpful ways to get out of your heads focus on what ails you.

downtide's avatar

Codeine.

bobbinhood's avatar

When the pain is overwhelming, I focus on breathing.

bluejay's avatar

I’m usually very good with pain. To me it’s just a sign that I have an injury and I take it into consideration. The only exception is tooth pain! I am the biggest pain wimp when it comes to that. A really bad tooth ace is the only thing that will keep me up at night and convince me to take pain meds.

TheIntern55's avatar

Probobly the same way as you. ButI hurt myself so many times when I was younger, I’m pretty much invinsable now. But maybe that’s just my inner teen speaking. And my outer teen.:/
But as for blood, I hate. I don’t faint but I can’t really see it unless it’s my own. I don’t react well with needles either.
I’m gutless.

john65pennington's avatar

I sincerely hope you never have migraine headaches. If you do, hide all your weapons. If you think you have pain now, there is no pain to compete with a migraine. They were so sincere, that the pain clinic at Vanderbilt University became involved to help find a solution.

I have had them so bad, that I have banged my head against the wall. At the age of 52, they just disappeared and none, since.

Like you said, different people treat their pain in different ways. On a scale of 1 to 10, what might be a 5 for me, might be an 8 for you. All of us are different.

Hibernate's avatar

I can endure pain really well I can say. I withstand a lot but I have my limits. For instance if I hit my finger with a hammer I don’t scream or start making weird faces. It hurts but it goes away really fast. Or if I burn myself. I just use something hot on the burn then wait a bit for the excessive pain to pass then deal with it in time.
I like blood. Not to cut someone else open but I love it. I have a problem with my nose and I lose blood every day [been like this for a few years now]. I can say I grew accustomed with it and that’s why I like it now.

The only thing that I really really hate is pain in/at the lungs. There’s no way I can make it go away…

rojo's avatar

I agree with Coloma about the focusing aspect. I have gout attacks and while I can deal with it during the day, the nights are almost unbearable.
At night, everything is about the pain, there are no distractions, There is no way to ignore it but the last few times I have tried meditation from a less painful position (There is NO WAY to sit crosslegged let alone in lotus position) and found that focusing on my breathing relieves the pain and allows me to get through the night.

Mariah's avatar

Pain know me all too well…ulcerative colitis hurts. Kidney stones hurt. Surgery hurts. Pleurisy hurts. Sepsis really fucking hurts.

I’m not shy with pain killers but they just don’t touch certain kinds of pain. But don’t underestimate heat. A heating pad applied to my back when I have pleurisy is like heaven. It also helps to have a high pain tolerance, which I fortunately do. I once slept through passing a kidney stone…true story.

But when you can’t make it go away then you have to find mental coping mechanisms. I have crazy focus when I’m working on something creative and the rest of the world disappears. That’s the best thing for it, I think. But sometimes, during the lowest of lows, the worst pain, it’s like…it’s like your life doesn’t matter anymore. Sometimes all you can do is take joy in the fact that people you love are happy. Or that the world is beautiful. That the world outside of you is okay. Sometimes all you have is the scream, or your breath. I don’t know how to deal with that state of pain over the long term though. No one should have to do that.

HungryGuy's avatar

Super strength Excedrin works well.

But nothing beats either hydrocodone or oxycodone (doctors are extremely leery about prescribing the latter, unfortunately, as it is easily abused).

KidCurtis's avatar

Assuming that there’s no form of medicinal relief available at the time the best way to control my reactions to great pain was to just control my breathing, focusing on lowering my heart rate and just try to block the pain out of my mind whether it be by focusing on some thought or something in my immediate surroundings like the ceiling. It’s no cure for the pain, it’ll still be there but it helps control and clear your mind of the fog that pain will bring.

Brian1946's avatar

If it hurts, I have it amputated.

stardust's avatar

Completely agree with @Coloma
I try to focus on my breathing when I’m in severe physical pain.

filmfann's avatar

I have embraced a healthy sense of self-loathing.
I am a wretched, terrible person who deserves to suffer.
I go to the dentist every year on my birthday just for that reason.

bluejay's avatar

@filmfann oh come on. You can’t be that terrible of a person. Everyone has a good and bad side. Why do you think you’re so terrible?

filmfann's avatar

You misunderstand me. I think EVERYONE is terrible. I have just embraced how terrible I am.

bluejay's avatar

@filmfannveryone Oh… well what a beautiful outlook on life.

filmfann's avatar

Actually, it is. Once you understand what a piece of crud you are, you can appreciate a little better Jesus’ sacrafice on the cross. There is no way any of us deserved that!

faye's avatar

@downtide Morphine!

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