Psychological Impact of Physical Pain

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Older Woman Chronic Pain

Chronic pain and its impact on day-to-day life can be debilitating.

The mental effects of chronic pain are just as disruptive to the daily life of a sufferer as the physical pain itself.

Don’t suffer in silence and think that having chronic pain means that you just have to “put up with it”.

Our team of counsellors, therapists and Pain Psychologists provide counselling in Newcastle (and through online counselling) so you can reduce the psychological effects of chronic pain, as well as also learn ways of managing the physical side.

Some of the problems that can come with pain include:


It has been reported that people who suffer from chronic pain are three times more likely to suffer from depression.

Genetics might play a part in develop depression but it is possible to have no family history present but still develop the condition when experiencing chronic pain.

Depression is a reaction to misery and lack of being able to fully engage in life. It also comes about from feeling stuck and powerless – when your pain is chronic, you might feel hopeless because you feel out of control of it.

The most obvious reason for the link between depression and pain is that experiencing chronic pain means you are highly likely to withdraw from your previous pleasurable activities, and understandably be experiencing your pain whatever you are doing.

If you find yourselffocusing on your pain at the cost of not engaging with pleasurable or meaningful activity, it is likely that pain counselling in Newcastle will help you to deal with symptoms of depression relating to your chronic illness.


Individuals who experience chronic pain may develop anxiety because their body is signalling to their brain a sense of threat, and even vulnerability.

Pain stressors in our body signal to our brain that something might be a threat to our survival, triggering a ‘fight or flight’ response. Quite often, people get stuck in this stress state which leads to a cycle of worry, pain, and anxiety.

There are a number of therapies that can help with chronic pain and illness however. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for chronic pain is one of the newer approachesthat can help manage the anxiety brought about from chronic pain because it is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that forces you to think about the way you think.

ACT and CBT as therapies in themselves (whether face-to-face or through online therapy) have also been shown to help reduce the sensation of pain.


Adults function best when they get sufficient good quality sleep each night to function at their best mentally and physically.

Chronic pain often impacts your ability to relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. As this is a repeated action, it is common for it to develop into insomnia.

Unfortunately, any existing mental health problems will only worsen when insomnia is present due to the impact on your ability to cope with the symptoms.

Newcastle Psychologist & Counsellingspecialise in insomnia focused therapies (including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia – CBT-I and ACT for insomnia), which have been shown to be effective even in those with ongoing pain.

Contact us about Pain Counselling in Newcastle

Chronic illness and chronic pain can cause a range of psychological difficulties as well as get in the way of life.

Our team of specialist psychologists, therapists and counsellors offer counselling in Newcastle (and online) to help deal with the psychological, as well as the physical side.

If you would like to access counselling in Newcastle for chronic pain, sending us a message using the box below or call 07966645198 to speak to a member of the team today.

Dr Stuart Sadler (Chartered Psychologist)

Best wishes,

Dr Stuart Sadler

Lead Clinical Psychologist

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