Posted in anger, Chronic illnesses, Chronic Pain

Anger and Chronic Pain

See updated post on this topic.

I often take a look at some of the searches that venture to my blog and this is another one that stands out: anger and chronic pain.  For those of us who suffer from conditions that cause us to be in constant pain, anger is a typical emotion.  This search option always leaves me teary-eyed because as kind of a person as I try to be, I find myself angry often.  I am angry at my diagnoses, at my doctors, past and present, the misdiagnoses of nearly ten years, at the world, and that the people in my life that don’t always understand.

You know that saying, “put your best foot forward,” but that isn’t easy when that foot hurts and is causing you so much pain and hurt.   Imagine someone stepping on that foot.  How exactly do you respond? Do you thank that person for making you hurt more or are you angry?  Of course, you are angry and probably fuming with anger.

Chronic pain makes a person angry at life, that his or her body, his or her limitations and at the attitudes of others. While anger is healthy, it is problem when you spend your day ticked off in a boiling and raging matter.  While anger can distract you from your pain, it will ultimately defeat you.

The Problem with Anger

The problem with anger is that affects your health and your relationships with others.   Whether you make a choice to hold it in or express it, you are damaging your physical health.   Angry people will develop high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, headaches, rashes and susceptibility to infections.  In addition, it causes muscle tensions thus increasing pain levels.  With relationships, anger and aggressive behavior can destroy those leaving you without a support system.  Anger destroys trust and communication within those relationships and triggers aggression in others.   It is not fair to those you say you love to have to tiptoe around you because you are angry.  The end result of your anger will be isolation, loneliness and alienation.  Anger also feeds depression leaving a circle of emotions of anger, pain, and depression that have no ends and no beginnings.

Recent studies show that anger and sadness increase pain so it is important to learn how to express anger in a healthy manner and how to deal with the stresses that trigger your symptoms and increase your anger.  We all experience anger because it is part of being human but when that anger is handled poorly, the person expressing the anger hurts him or herself and the people that they say they love.

Managing Anger

Managing anger means understanding what you are angry about.  In addition to chronic pain, the symptoms of chronic conditions are exacerbated because of stress and sleep deprivation.   Sometimes it helps to keep a journal to write in and express your feelings especially why you find yourself angry and it allows you to see what triggers that anger.  Talk about your anger with a good friend or even see a therapist so you can better understand your anger and learn to deal with it.  Sometimes, you can learn this on your own, other times you need a friend, and sometimes, you need professional help, but don’t continue to be angry because anger can be unhealthy.

Anger part of dealing with anger is learning to express yourself better.  It also means taking action to deal with it by eliminating triggers and fixing problems that make you angry.  It is also equally important not to obsess over your anger unless you welcome an ulcer and high blood pressure.  Learn to solve problems rather than lashing out.  In addition, sometimes avoiding the issues that cause your anger can be just as beneficial as talking about them.  If there is a topic that increases your stress, then let it go and find a way to avoid it and to try to find solutions to dealing with it so that it does not make you angry often.

With chronic pain, pain management is the solution to dealing with anger, in addition to stress reduction, better quality sleep, and expressing your feelings in a healthy way.    Understand that managing anger is just one of the many emotions that those of us with chronic pain and chronic illnesses have to endure.  These feelings are normal part of responding to the pain and they are also a step forward towards coping.

Why Me? Why Now?

When we are first diagnosed, we go through all the grief and mourning that we can possibility handle.  We get past that especially when see that our treatments are working and we start to get back part of the life we had before.  However, the pain and the waiting to get better can take a toll on a person’s patience.   This is because pain is something we never get used to but anger management is easier than pain management.

I get the anger that chronic pain sufferers feel because I live it every day.  I miss the old me – carefree, active, happy, and lovable all the time.  I long for days when my kids’, my nephews’ and nieces’ hugs didn’t hurt and when I didn’t hate to be touched.  I still work but at the end of the day, I feel like I have been run over by a monster truck, and some mornings I wake feeling like that.   While I am still not the same person I was two, three, four or five years ago, I have learned that chronic pain brings with it many emotions and anger is only one.  Managing anger take skills and these are skills we learn over time.  Sometimes, we need counseling to learn those skills and sometimes, we learn them through patience and perseverance.

The first thing we learn about managing anger is coping and that means realizing why we are anger.  Coping with chronic pain causes our tempers to flare more quickly and easily and as the pain worsens, we become angry because the pain is taking up too much of our time and our thoughts. When you need to vent, let the people in your life know you are not angry at them and ask them to listen.  This is a healthy way to express your angry rather than lashing out at everyone that comes your way.

Other ways of managing your anger include learning about the feelings that cause your anger, other than pain.  You can remove yourself when the anger gets too much, i.e. take a walk, write your feelings down, or find a quiet place to be alone.  Try deep breathing when you see your anger starting to take hold and remind yourself that you are responsible for managing your anger and anything that happens as a result of that anger.  Find something to relieve the stress such as watching a funny movie or show so that you can just forget about what hurts.  Cry if you have to or laugh at yourself but learn how to manage and be responsible for your anger.  Most of all, accept where you are now and think realistically about where you want to be.

My Own 

I have struggled with my own anger issues, first with finding a diagnosis and second, with my symptoms and pain getting worse.  Sometimes, I keep going and keep my anger inside, sometimes mumbling under my breath and even talking to myself in order to get through.  Sometimes, I cry and sometimes, I find a quiet place to be alone where I cannot overburden anyone else with my anger.  Other times, I call one of my sisters or a friend to vent.

I am not saying that the way I deal with my anger is correct, but it works for me.  I know that sometimes it keeps me doing everything that I need to do – working, taking care of my family, etc. – because it keeps my mind busy, my body active, and it keeps me from thinking about the pain.  I try every day to find ways to deal with my anger, in particular I remind myself that I am grateful for my family, my career, my advocacy work, and my mind even when my body isn’t working.   I have days where my pain requires a pity party and I deal with that, but I do NOT give myself permission to spread my anger to others.  Remember, the Law of the Garbage Truck. – don’t accept garbage and don’t spread it.

How do you deal with your anger?

55 thoughts on “Anger and Chronic Pain

  1. Anger….yes. I catch myself being hateful sometimes and it is simply due to the pain. Very frustrating. I always try to be aware of this and am fairly quick to apologize when I snap with no reason. 😦

      1. I agree ,am in chronic pain everyday .I do my best not to get angry!!
        But when the pain gets to much it is very hard to control

      2. I’m very glad I read this post ,I honestly have chronic pain due to having flat foot. I discovered chronic pain in my left ankle and my right ankle ever since I was 16 years old the doctors always want to see me of course. But now I’m told I have a Tarsel coalition in both feet and I pretty much was born with bad feet…. I suggest going medical marijuana got any pain or any anger built from pain, I hope you all find a find peace through dealing with chronic pain

  2. I like the new blog, Lana. VERY nice!

    Anger is a double-edged sword. We need to be able to get angry, but we also need to be able to turn that anger into positive action while not taking it out on others. It’s something we all struggle with from time to time. Great post. Thanks for making me think. 😉

    1. I agree that anger is a double edged sword. It is okay to express feelings and expressing anger is healthy but you are absolutely right on turning anger into a positive thing.

  3. Excellent post and advice. I am sure stuck in the anger stage right now, although I have already been through it and thought i had mastered my own emotions, wham. I don’t take it out on anyone but it sure is eating me up on the inside. Sleep deprivation really messes with your head. I’m really glad you stopped by my blog, it was the kick in the butt I needed, lol. I have been isolating and I need to reach out, read my friends blogs again, and find a therapist for sure. Much love, Michelle

  4. My husband has chronic pain and is now disabled. He resents everything…doctors, pain management, the government, the system…at first, it just got to where I would wish he didn’t need to rail about everything. I honestly didn’t even realize that pain was the source. Lately, it has entered into our disagreements about anything. He feels the need to tell me what to do, and when I haven’t said the right things at work or to others, he wants to lecture me. He never did this before. If I respond in any kind of annoyance to what he is saying, it can escalate so quickly I don’t even know what happened. The anger turns to an all out rage unless I admit he is right and I am just too sensitive because I have a problem. He will rage at me, rewrite the entire conversation, blame me, call me horrible names, as long as it takes to get me to the point of sobbing. He threatens to leave me. He follows me no matter where I go, in my face enraged. I even locked myself int the bathroom just begging him to stop and he was so angry that he was rattling the doorknob and then punched the door in frustration. I don’t think I was afraid of him hurting me, but I was definitely afraid. This isn’t the man I married. He will not go with me to a counselor because he doesn’t have a problem except his pain, and that I have the problem. Sometimes in his rages, what I believe is the truth sometimes comes out…he will rage about being my houseboy (he does light housework…not because I ask him to, but to keep busy and I thank him so much because I work a lot right now) and how he is a prisoner in the home. He isn’t, but he insists that he can’t get out at all and be involved due to his pain (which isn’t true as when there is something that he gets in his head to do, he does it, but it is never anything social or that would really give him a sense of purpose for long). I have loved this man for 20 years. I don’t know what to do. Any thoughts? I thought maybe people who know a little what he feels could help me help him and us.

    1. I have chronic pain from spinal cord injury. I also have anger issues due to my pain. I “hide out” when I get mad. Occasionally I lash out at those I love and then dislike myself. Something you said struck a nerve (no pun intended) with me. You said that your husband can do things if HE really wants to do them. I feel like it appears that way to others about me. There are many things I can do. The problem is that if I do them I pay a price with increased pain for days or even weeks. I also have isolated myself socially. The only people I want to see is those I really love and have learned to avoid that for their sake when I am in extreme pain. It might comfort me to have them around but eventually I snap at someone. I do not know how long he has been in pain or if he has had any counseling but I do know time, acceptance and counseling has helped me. Being able to communicate with family has also helped. I can even tell my grandchildren (ages 6 and 7), “nana is really hurting right now”, I am going to my room for awhile and they are wonderful. I imagine it is even more difficult for men. There are so many side issues to this. I have been through all the steps (more than once). No one can understand, all my hopes and dreams are dashed, it’s not fair, why me, I don’t deserve this, feeling helplessness becayse I can’t fix it (always thought if you tried hard enough you can at least make things better). Anyway, I hope this might give you a perspective from the other side and I hope he seeks some professional help. I have a wonderful husband and sounds like you are a wonderful wife. I wish I could be the wife he married. The wife I planned to be. It is very hard to accept your new limitations and I often still feel like an utter failure even though it is beyond my control. My heart goes out to you. In a very definite way you have lost the man you loved. I hope he gets help so he can accept who he is now and can be someone you will continue to love. May god bless you both.

      1. I know that doing more causes him extreme pain that he must rest from. It isn’t that I don’t know that nor that I want him to never do what he wants to do that he enjoys or which make him feel more useful…such as building a cattio for our cats outside, but I do need him to want to have a real relationship with me as well. So sometimes do painful things just for him, and sometimes do painful things because we matter, too. That is all. The rages have ended. He centered himself when he realized I really meant to leave. Thank you.

    2. I sob when reading your comments ,it’s like someone’s looking into my life. I have four more years of marriage than you so it’s been a long time as well .Just know, you are not alone and for me, the most difficult part about his rage is the blame. The other day, my husband told me that he wished for one day I could feel his pain and be the one taking pills that leave you drowsy yet still in pain and my heart just ached so much only someone on the receiving end of the kind of routine rage that some have become accustom to could understand .Just know, you are not alone , stand in your mirror and say it to yourself everyday and let God ease this pain,it’s what I try to do .know that,it’s ok to cry and remember that love is true as it reminds us of the reasons we marry in the first place and most importantly, no negative transfer of anger, don’t let his anger become a shared anger because this isn’t healthy and this is a difficult one because when my husband tells me he’s leaving and it’s because of me it’s hard not to defend myself or question how suddenly I’ve become the problem so I sob myself to sleep and in my moments of clarity and when he’s half asleep, I roll over and whisper in his ear , ( I’m not going anywhere ,and I Love you and we’ll get through this together.) and I turn away and when he reaches over to grab my hand, it lets me know how he really feels and I don’t let go because I know he’s fighting and so am I.
      Beside every Strong ,Good Husband/ Dad is his patient loving Wife and Friend.
      Have a Wonderful Day.

  5. I’m not a blogger, and I’m not someone that would normally read blogs. But I felt I needed to just start typing, especially after reading your post… I’m tired of being angry…

    I’ve been dealing with stomach pains for as long as I can remember. I would get these random “flair ups” that consisted of unbelievable pain in my stomach, usually lasting an hour or 2, sometimes longer. I remember being around 8 years old, at a friends house for a sleep-over. It started with a slight dull pain, and quickly turned into me curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. I tried to be as quiet as possible, I was embarrased, laying there on the floor unable to unfold my body and climb up to the toilet, unable to hold my bladder any longer from the pain, adding to my embarrassment.

    My childhood had endless events like this, sometimes ending up in the ER in the middle of the night, other times being told “you just need to poop, now just go sit on the toilet it can’t hurt that bad”, forced to wait it out. Up until I was 22, the diagnosis was always the same, constipation. There were no certain foods, activity, or stressor I could find. One morning as I was finishing up a double shift on the ambulance, that all too familiar pain started. At this point I was tired of going to the ER to have them tell me the same thing… That I’m full of shit… Litterally… So I decided to do what the docs in the ER always did for me… Magnezium citrate, that nasty bitter stuff could make a skeleton blow mud. I bought 2 bottles, chugged one in the parking lot, and drank the other on the way home. After 2 hours of nothing but extreme pain, I decided to drive myself to the hospital. Within 30 minutes of getting to the ER, they were calling for an ambulance (my co-workers) to transport me to another facility for emergency surgery. It was my gallbladder.

    I’m 27 now, I have a 4 year old son, I haven’t had a regular bowel movement since before he was born. The “flare ups” went from one every 4-6 months, to once every month or 2, and lasting several hours at a time. At 25, durring one of my visits to the hospital, they found my apendix was infected. Under the knife again… And just like prior, the “flare ups” increased in frequency and durration. At that point I was on close to 30 pills a day, without a diagnosis, basically just throwing pills down my throat hoping for a cure… Then, I get told by my doctor that I’m a drug addict. Being the person I am, created from the experiences I’ve been through, that is not something I take lightly. My dad is, and has been all my life, a severe drug addict, anything to get a buzz, he’s a pile, I’ve written him off the best I can. So after 2 weeks of absolute hell, it was horrible but I wasn’t going to be known as a “druggy”, I was no longer on pain meds, and after another couple weeks I wasn’t on any pills at all. Nothing changed, other then my pain was no longer being managed with medication, and I wasn’t playing roulette with my body any longer.

    Seeing as I’ve been afraid my entire life of becoming my dad, I had always looked at marijuana as it is portrayed in Reefer Madness. I stayed as far aways from it as possible, that is until I finally decided to try it, as a medicine. Pain wise, it doesn’t work for me that well. It does however reduce the anxiety of living with whatever it is I have. But even that has it’s limits… I like, no, love helping people. I always have, I want to lend a helping hand whenever possible, I want to see a smile on everyone’s face. When I stepped from school to the working world, I had a cronic smile on my face. I went to school for glazing, I loved it, every day was different. I joined up the local fire department as a volunteer, became an EMT, and picked up shifts on my off days. All before I turned 20, I was on the fast track to living a happy productive life.

    I want to spend every moment with my son, he’s my everything. He’s always got a smile on his face, and always wanting to do what daddy is doing. Anymore though, I find myself yelling and getting angry over the littlest things. Essentially turning a molehill into a mountain. Not because my son has done anything worse, no, it’s because daddy is in more pain now, this is horrible! especially for a 4 year old to deal with! He just wants to play trucks with me. Do you know how much it hurts on the inside to not be able to sit on the ground with your son and play with his favorite toys, because you hurt so much on the outside? I do, I’ve never felt anything more dissapointing. I try, it usually ends in under ten minutes. My friends have told me they look up to me and my parenting, because I am always taking my son places, doing things with him. But it doesn’t feel that way, I get angry just thinking about all the activities I’ve had to say “I can’t buddy I’m sorry” to, that’s what stands out to me, that’s the stuff that makes me feel like a steaming pile, which I’m also incapable of creating anymore. Which is why I have to carry baby wipes in my truck.

    So I get angry thinking about it. And it builds, and builds. My fiance is the greatest person I could have ever asked to be with. She is the most understanding, gentle, kind, sweet and caring person I’ve met. I would do anything for her and our son. So when counseling was brought up, I agreed to go. I actually wanted to go, I don’t want to yell, I don’t want to be angry. But, after 2 years of going to the only mental health facility in the area, I stopped. That 2 years of going there I felt was completely wasted. The first counselor I was seeing actually fell asleep durring one of our sessions, snoring loud, eyes closed, asleep. Then the next counselor I was seeing was great, although around 5 out of 6 appointments (not exagerating either) were canceled the morning of the appointment, by the facility. Always claiming my counselor was either running late, sick, or had a family emergency…

    Another hard hitter to anyone dealing with pain, is people. I used to love going into a room filled with people I didn’t know. My fiance used to joke and call me a social butterfly. I could go into any room, and within 5 minutes, without trying, I’d make at least 2 new friends. Now, I don’t want to talk to anyone, especially strangers, I’m tired of giving people updates on my stomach, or answering questions when someone sees me hunched over at a table waiting for a pain to pass. Then there’s the medical advice with no education to back it. It doesn’t matter if they work at micky d’s or an executive at a bank. Everyone turns into a doctor when the moment you bring up undiagnosed stomach pain, because they had an aunt that had a friend that… and all they did to fix it was… and you should try it I’ll write it down, it’s exactly the same thing you have… I’m not trying to sound mean, I’m sure they’re genuinely concerned… I’m just soo tired of living with it, that I don’t want to talk about it. Especially not with someone who knows very little about me. I hope that didn’t come off as too rude.

    Some of the cruelest people by far, though, can be friends and family. It’s the hardest when they don’t even reallize it. The usual conversation you would have with a friend that was just feeling depressed, can come across as belittling and hurtful. Some mornings I’ll lay in bed until noon. Not because I’m lazy like those people might say or even think, but because the pain is soo frequent now, that the mornings, before I get up and moving, are the most comfortable to me. Laying there pain free, knowing that within minutes of walking around, the pain is going to start. I used to be able to work 10 hour days in construction and still want to go do things after work. I haven’t been able to keep a regular job since my gallbladder sugery. I’m lucky to get 2 hours of yard work in before I have to call it quits, and spend the next couple days paying for it.

    I haven’t given up hope, just kinda waiting for something, still searching for options… I’ve been to 2 GI docs, had many, tests, procedures, and scans done…

    I stumbled upon this page by randomly googling about pain and anger, I was soo moved, I felt I had to just start typing… Hopefully I didn’t break any blog ediquette as I’m not a blogger. I just want to see if this helps me vent some of that anger… I don’t want my son to think it’s his fault I’m angry all the time. Thanks for reading.

    1. Wow – After reading that I found I had forgotten there was one other symptom I’ve been having besides pain & anger and depression: crying at the drop of a hat. That story has left me bawling…

      I **SO** know what you mean. I can’t stand to be around people now. I walk down the sidewalk and see people VEER across the sidewalk to get in front of me and my cane as I’m hobbling along. I used to think I was just paranoid, but a friend walking with me one day saw it and remarked to me, “Did you see what that guy just did???”

      When each and every person out there becomes an obstacle to you, and when a large number of rude people go out of their way to be a hindrance, you start to look for it in people, instead of looking for the good. While I realize that on an intellectual level, my gut just tells me to be mad.

    2. Wow thank you for sharing! I was too googling pain and anger today after I punched a hole in my wall to release my frustration. I have no clue just like the doctors as to what is wrong with me and on top of the chronic pain I have bad lungs and I am experiencing horrible shortness of breath like a ran a mile just standing up. I feel like I can’t do anything right now I have 18 month old to chase who doesn’t listen or care if he is told no or gets his hand slapped. Just reading other people going through the same feelings helps me not feel so insane. I understand what you mean about people so quick to try to diagnose you like you haven’t tried everything in the world and as much as I hate people doing it to me I do it right back. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia aka clueless doctor syndrome. I was taking d ribose for a few years to help with muscle pain but I can’t afford it because we have to buy food. I have been starting at the very being ignoring all doctors and start with my earliest symptoms and I seriously believe that between the chemicals and lifestyle of Americans we are more in danger for chronic problems and pain. I believe that my lungs was the beginning causing me to be less active and then I hurt my back. I wasn’t inactive but hurt soon and as I got older I got thicker and worse. Basically if I am deficient in a vitamin that causes these symptoms why? I found that many of my my first symptoms probably came from low vitamin a and d because of my diet growing up in poverty eating so much processed food and that led to my stomach acid levels not high enough which led to malnutrition overall because I am not digesting correctly which causes and so on and so on… It’s much more in depth but I just started high vitamin therapy and an almost vegan diet with tons of broccoli and spinach and fish to try to blast my body with vitamins. I guess I’ll know how it works in a couple months but it feels like my last hope… I can’t work, I can’t deal, I can’t stand stupid people anymore at all. I feel so mad that I have to go through this and here this person sits waiting my time because they are too stupid to figure whatever out and I would be in pain doing it myself but in less pain from standing there waiting! Doctors irrate me beyond belief. I went to so many different docs they called me a drug seeker but I don’t want stupid pills I want to NOT have to need a stupid pill for a few min of relief because it’s not like it takes all the pain or even most of it! My doctor now makes me feel like a hypochondriac and doesn’t even listen when I talk then I’m the b*+-# because I get so frustrated everyday from all these little things that are just so small yet I have to deal with it and I blow up! I just feel like I don’t know what else to do in those moments. It’s like hey doc I need you to listen and help but he just walks out the door and I am supposed to what? Find yet another doctor? WAIT… I think that’s the main issue… I feel like I’m constantly waiting and I just want to relax and enjoy and DO not wait!

      1. It is definitely not easy and anger is a part of dealing with all the frustration but you don’t want to be angry all the time. In the beginning after I was diagnosed and for at least the first two years, I was angry. I have learned to stopped being angry. I have gone to therapy and I have learned to control what I can. Thank you for keeping, commenting and coming by. Please feel to email or comment at any time.

  6. I don’t want to be angry, but exploring my anger and talking about it only serves to increase it. I seem to be wallowing in nothing but pain, misery, more pain, anger, depression, hatred, and did I mention pain?

    I don’t have insurance (gasp! I know I’m supposed to – but can’t afford it). I can’t afford to go to the doctor and pay full price to be looked at like I’m a drug addict seeking a fix. I’m in chronic pain, and have congestive heart failure, to boot.

    I temp. That means today I work, but tomorrow I might not. I can’t “estimate” my salary, because I don’t have one. I can’t qualify for Medicaid, because right now I’m making money. Next week I may not be. If I buy insurance today while I’m working, I’m locked in to paying at LEAST $200 a month of a plan that only pays 25% of a doctor’s visit or for medications. No one seems to know how to help me – without either a full time job or being declared disabled (which takes at LEAST 6 months and you can’t work during that time), I’m screwed.

    I’m not expecting any answers, here, I’m just trying to point out there ARE NO EASY ANSWERS, and simply stating “relax, don’t get mad” doesn’t help. If I could have waved that magic wand, I’d have done it a long time ago.

    1. You are absolutely right. There are no easy answers and one size fits all solution. I have just learned what works for me. And I have my moments because like everyone else I am human. I think that if you get up every day and you fight just to be part of a so-called normal world, you are doing a whole lot. Don’t give up and I really wish I could offer better advice than that. 😦

  7. I broke my back as a child in 1975 . I had a work related back injury in 1986 , and the final nail in the coffin back injury from a fellow truck driver ,that I believe was drunk in 2005 . I am 50 , my back pain started when I was 10. since the last injury , my pain has only been under 5 ( on the 0-10 scale used by doctors ) twice. Both of these times I was unconscious for operations . Normally my pain level in somewhere from 5-8 24 hours a day every day since 2005 . Oh and by the way ,the professional truck driver got away , his company were very good liars , and my lawyer ” forgot” to file the law suite in time . He only had 3 years to do it , although his firm did send me Christmas cards. I think he was paid off , a practice some truck companies rely on. I wish I could tell you their names.
    Now in 2015 my son is 11 . He plays base ball . He suffers the most alone and along with my wife from my disability. He can not have an active father , we’ve played catch twice . That is not an exaggeration ! He’s been told by his team mates , in a little league organization that emphasizes sportsman ship , that he can’t play baseball , he’s horrible, ” here come a guaranteed out . I blame myself because I’m very seldom in good enough shape to help . So he pays a price . When I run into situation’s were my family suffer because of my disability , I see the smiling faces of the truck driver and that ” lawyer ” I had.
    I get mad , I’m not in a good mood , and I have no patients for people. So I have an anger management problem and I’m an ” all around complete *%#hole in the hearts and minds of most people. I’m the bad guy .
    So were do people like me go . To our room’s , in order to spare those around us from our “wrath”.
    Now we have a depression problem because we are “anti social “. In all actuality I’m trying to be decent to folks. I know when I’m being a jerk , so I walk away to end it. Now its a snow ball rolling down hill and I can see more ” psychological ” problems ahead. The only folks that understand this are people like me . Their is no cure . That’s why so many get drug addictions or commit suicide . You see its not just the pain . It invades every aspect of a persons life like a cancer. Your family knows your always in pain , so over time their compassion becomes like the ‘tear weight ” on a scale. Compassion on the bad days , forgetting it the rest of the time . They can ,you can’t . So is anger for a person like me justified Etiquette would suggest Only if its directed at the ones responsible . Applying your anger to them my result in your arrest or legal problems . So Now you become depressed. You resign your self to the acceptance of your fate . These are the good day’s its all down hill from here. 30 to 40 years from now my head stone will read Thank God its over .
    IF at all possible ,save your anger , for God ,or who ever ,or what ever until the day of judgment. Then give it to them in spades !!!!!!!!!!! .The phrase ” your not alone doesn’t mean squat unless the one saying it take some of your burden

    1. Your pain seems similar to how I feel! I’m 32, a single mom of two kids & wish I could every day turn back the clock to avoid what happened to me. I’ve have been damaged by doctors, orthodontist to be exact. For my 30 bday I decided to get braces to have thT straight smile I always wanted (no I wonder why that was so important to me). Everything in life was going great- my kids& I were happy, I was trying to finish my degree while working full time & raising two kids & I was healthy. But that orthodontist caused me to have severe TMD on removal of my braces, which I panicked. My jaw was locking, popping & sore, I was scared so I went to another doctor for tmj treatment. They promised me it would fix it, but it made things worse- they ignored me telling them my symptoms were getting worse blaming me that I had bad anxiety!! This treatment damaged my facial bone structure, teeth & jaw (making the joint even worse). After there was way more damage they dropped me as a patient leaving me with a huge mess & more suffering. Now in another treatment that is not helping, bc of the other two from the damage they caused. I suffer in constant 24/7 pain, damage to my face, never to be able to eat solid foods ever again or lift weights or be active w my kids, sleep normal, kiss or ever have a normal life again. On the outside no one can see this & it’s frustrating. My family & friends just think I’m depressed or reliving something that happened 2 years ago. But they can see that yes this started 2 yrs ago & I regret ever getting braces, bc I wouldn’t be going through this. But I live in a hell every second of the day. No one gets that, plus nothing will ever fix this damage. I will never be able to have a relationship or a day free of relief/ from suffering.

      I lash out at my mom the most bc it’s so frustrating to me when she thinks I’m just depressed. That I don’t want to do anything or that I just make excuses for everything. She even think I’m not trying to eat solid foods, she constantly tells me to try or to just eat through the pain, bc maybe it would make my jaw joint go back. She can understand that my jaw joint is so damaged that the bone is now deteriorating & will never go back. She tells me to check myself into a mental health facility constantly or if I’m yelling that I’m acting like a 16 year old. My anger is because of my pain & from the constant torture I have to go through trying to save my once healthy mouth. But I won’t be able to save my gums or teeth now bc of the damage. No one gets that! I know what’s going to happen, I know that I will be alone now forever & it’s the worst feeling ever.
      Whenever we go somewhere my mom thinks I will me a man & then my life will be back to normal somehow. I told her though it’s never going to happen now. And I would never put my burden on someone else.
      What kills me the most is when my life was good & normal, my kids were happy & great! Now when I have my moments I can see them picking this up. I see them get angry towards each other or over little things. I don’t want them to turn into who I am now, I want them to be the happy kids or like I was before this happened. I’m scared- they’re amazing, smart & beautiful kids- I sometimes feel like giving them to my exs family to live with, but I know I would probably not be able to see them again. I do everything I can for my kids, but I can’t really ever be happy again. I try a lot for them, but the pain I constantly endure is all the time & I can’t get anything for it. It’s hard when hardly anyone has seen or heard of severe TMD, bc it’s not very common. My own doctor didn’t believe that I could have everything I’ve had bc she’s had other patients w TMD that didn’t have my symptoms- but that’s just it, not everyone has the same symptoms w TMD nor how they got it. Mine was caused by a bad ortho treatment, most people get it from an accident, blow to the face, wisdom teeth removal & the 1% ortho. I ended up for some god knows why reason of a severe case. That was made worse by a treatment (which tmd doesn’t have a guaranteed treatment nor does it have a FDA or medical approved one at that. Nothing for TMD is covered under insurance so it’s very expensive out of pocket to get help). That’s the other thing is it’s taken everything I had saved for my kids & I- everything I had to spend has been out of pocket cost which is thousands! Dental is extremely expensive.
      I don’t mean to be so angry & I hate it, my anger is really towards the doctors that did this to me & the justice system that really has no justice for patients bc the doctors are the one protected. But I can’t yell at the doctors
      And I don’t mean to yell at my mom, but I have no one else to release my frustration/ suffering to. My friends are no longer there for me, even though they pretend to be, my sister hardly talks to me & my dad doesn’t want to hear it. He’s in denial to that anything is wrong w me. The most frustrating part is no one really understanding or beleiving there’s something wrong. Again I’m young, I used to be very active & healthy, and in one day my life changed. This happened they day my braces were taken off, but to every one it’s so unheard of that this much damage could happen from other is bc they can see the pain, it must not be there kind of thing or bc they don’t know what TMD is. I get told we’ll everyone has pain. Yes, true- but this is a no stop pain that makes you want to pull that part that hurt on your body off. I have constant face/jaw pain, with constant teeth pain, receding gums w off /on pain, 24/7 headaches that sometimes go into a migraine, my jaw doesn’t ever feel it’s in the right place, plus bc of the facial damage I have a constant runny or stuffy nose, my temples are now permanently sunken in, my cheek bone are uneven w one that protrudes out, I can’t wear my contacts anymore bc of eye paying & it’s hard to wear glasses bc they don’t stay on my face or even. I can never get comfortable when I sleep or ever ride a rollercoaster/ water slide, go sledding or hike, can’t be outdoors for long periods of time or run/jump or lift weights, kiss, etc. I will never be able to have meat unless it’s purée, chips, tacos, veggies ( unless very soft or grinder up small to swallow) cereal, cookie, salads etc. I can never have a social drink/ any alcohol or go out, not supposed to have caffeine or dairy bc of the increase of inflammation it causes but do bc I will fall asleep if not.

      It’s as if my life stopped at 30, and everything that was good in it. Why would I be happy now with all of this or imagine anything better. I’m not only suffering with constant pain & other torture, but financially suffering too because of the thing that caused the pain. I have that constant regret of getting braces & the treatment, then I have my parents that every once ina while rub it in that they told me not to do both things & I didn’t listen. Well I wouldn’t have gotten braces if I thought it was going to cause this, but every one believes braces are safe. I did it bc I believed it was going to help me, bring up my self esteem about my smile. The staff & doctors never said this was a possibility of what can happen- why would they anyway.

  8. I am in tears reading the other comments about being the target of rage because I have recently (a year and a half) become that target from my husband. For a year I have excused it as the result of pain and have made every attempt at helping him through any life problem that comes up so that he will not have to deal with any other problem. But I see him doing the things that cause him pain when it is of interest to him but then blaming me for his pain. He was hurt at work but now he tells me it is my fault he is hurt. He calls me every name he can think of and tells me his wishes someone would hurt me. He scream in my face and throws things, punches things and breaks my things. I read what others say about keeping clarity that the pain causes this rage but I do not feel like I can deal with it any longer. My adult sons have also become the target of this rage. He tries to tell us what we should do, what we should think, how we should feel and speak and when we do not act like he wants it causes more rage.

    1. I am sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. What he has been through is NOT your fault but it sounds like you understand that. it is also not your job to fix this or be a punching bag (figuratively or literally). All you can is help him to seek the help he needs and the rest is up to him. If he won’t get help, then you give him a reason to, i.e. walking away or something like that. Good luck.

  9. Thank you all for sharing–it has helped my burden to hear you share it. I don’t know why. My four year old thinks I’m great, though I don’t. I’m in pain always, nothing stops it, and it has made me change. The one thing I find that helps me is remembering times when I have beat it for a little while. The times I do play with my kids, or talk like I always wish I would to my wife. I do win sometimes, I bet you do too. If I focus on these few wins and think about those little times as the ones I want more of, sometimes I do a little better. It is not fair that we have what we have. It isn’t right. I sometimes wish I could share the pain with others for a few minutes just to give them some idea of the effort it is taking me to look normal. But I’ve been here for ten years now, and when I look back, I often remember the few happy moments, not the hours in bed. So I resolve to try to make just a few more of those. I can’t make a lot, but maybe I can make a few. I hope that helps someone.

    To those with husbands losing their minds and raging, I can say they regret it. I can also say that if you stay until they truly damage you, both of you will regret it more. Loving someone doesn’t mean allow them to hurt you, or themselves, and those rage stories from wives sound like both are being hurt. I don’t know hoe to help that…I wish I did. Leave a little while and let them cool off, when cooled off, discuss. If rage again, maybe pick best pain time of the day to discuss again. If it keeps up, leave longer…explain that both of you are hurting, at some point a pastor or counselor is required to come back. At least if I treated my wife that way, that is what I hope she would do. We aren’t meant to be weak, and being in pain and incapable of being who we were makes us weak. I can see how I could lose it on my wife because I feel that way, but I don’t think I’d like her to live like that for long. I’d prefer to be pushed as gently but firmly as necessary to get some sort of help.

    I pray for people that have pain (including me!) often, and I don’t know why it exists… There are lots of things I don’t understand that are, so i pray that at least we find the spots of joy that do exist.

    1. I am so sorry for what you are going through, Les. I am also sorry for the delay in responding. Pain is a hard thing to describe, especially when it comes to how people should feel emotionally. I am glad that you are focusing on the good and not the bad. My 7 year old has never known me healthy. I can definitely relate to your feelings about parenting. Don’t forget to get support. Alliance Health – – has some great online support groups. I actually manage 3 of those sites. Good luck to you and please keep looking for those moments of joy.

  10. I have a chronic illness from a transfusion I got yrs ago when I had cancer.
    I just want to say this….and I will say it took me seven yrs of therapy to get to this place, but no one deserves to be screamed at, belittled or harmed.
    Life is too short. Tell your spouse to get help and if they don’t, get out.
    Time will pass and you will build another life.

  11. I found your blog because I too searched for pain and anger. I guess it all started when I was in 5th grade and had bad bronchitis or pneumonia. From there I hurt my back. Had pneumonia a couple more times before I was 16. I learned early how fast compassion and patience leave people who around someone who is in pain. Maybe it’s the unpleasant attitude from feeling like crap or from being disgusted or not believing all the issues going on. I felt so alone laying in bed all night unable to breathe wondering why nobody cared but now that I’m older I understand how it’s hard to care for someone very sick, yet if it’s my kid that sick I would not leave them alone. I think most kids aren’t taken very seriously when they say they are sick or hurting and I think that was the base of my anger. My mom always told me to quit crying or it doesn’t hurt that bad or I’m faking it for attention. I had meningitis at 21,Then I had my first child at 22. I gained a lot of weight and had a c section. After that I started to have some really horrible chronic pain. It wasn’t just some painful lungs from activity or back pain from standing but severe back pain constantly and I became severely weak and muscle pain so bad that some days I couldn’t even move off the couch. My doctor says it’s because your heavy but I said no I can’t lose weight because of the pain and it’s making me gain more and really fast! They brushed it off said I was lazy and told me to exercise (I would LOVE to exercise!) finally I went to another doctor who told me I have fibromyalgia. She gave me anti depressants muscle relaxers and gas pills. They didn’t help so I kept going back and she just tried different variations of those medicines. Finally said she was sending me to a fibro specialist and I was so excited. He came in the room and was so rude! He told me fibromyalgia isn’t real I just need to go home and sleep and he’s not giving me any pain drugs! I was so angry! I was so excited for help and he tells me I’m lying and just a drug seeker? I felt like Elaine blacklisted in my medical file! Every doctor I went to only had the option of pain meds as a way to help but didn’t want to prescribe them because they’re addictive! Finally went to another doc and told him everything and cried a out how no doctors listen and tell me I just want drugs and I told him I didn’t want drugs pain killers are not a “fun” high and they don’t even help… But he said that was the only way to get any relief. But they didn’t really help… I think they take more of that nagging frustrating pain away but that constant chronic pain is still there. When I stand or walk for over a min or two I get in so much pain with the pain meds even! Years of this pain and being called a liar and drug addict has just put me in such a rage! Trying to deal with the public would make me absolutely nuts! I feel like almost everyone is so incredibly dumb and slow and I don’t have that luxury. I must do what I need to do get it done and sit down or lay down before I fall down. The people who purposely make you wait longer because they know you are getting upset would really bring on my rage and it’s sooo hard for me to control it… I feel like I’m just at the end of this annoying hell with no options and I am waiting around for everyone else which just makes it worse. I found dribose and it tremendously helped my muscle pain! I lost a lot weight and got a finance almost completed my bachelor’s and then got pregnant. He’s now 18 months and the pain and suffering is back. Going through the rounds with doctors again telling me that I’m faking it or just want drugs. I am seeing a pain doc now and he keeps pushing non narcotic drugs on me but I don’t want drugs at all! I have been trying trigger point injections with corticosteroids and they help a lot but I have a hundred or so spots and that much steroids is not feasible. I want to try dry needling but he won’t do it. I am having lung issues with shortness of breath really bad where just walking into the other room makes me weak hurt and have to catch my breath. I can’t afford dribose anymore and my muscle pain is getting back to too intense to move and I feel so frustrated and angry and I just want to hit and kick all my frustration out but I can’t and I just feel like I’m going to explode and screaming feels good but I don’t want to scare my baby or the neighbors and I know I’m getting super angry over something small but it seems like every time I move or go to do something I have to deal with something small and it just piles up and it’s like I just can’t get a break! I can’t relax or enjoy or sleep or do anything and I use all my energy to cook and clean up and try to take decent care of my baby and I have no time because I take forever to do anything and OMFG I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO SO I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT AND STOP ASKING ME WHERE OR WHY AND JUST LET ME BE IN PAIN WITHOUT BEING A WAITER! but that makes me angry because that’s not what I really want. What I really want is to wake up and feel normal an have the energy and pain free body to cook and clean and play and help and work and run and…. But I don’t know how to deal with this frustration and anger

    1. I understand because I have been there and the worse things get, the angrier you get. But you know what you are capable of and how to overcome. This is just is another test and yes, there are plenty of bad days but God blessed you with an amazing child and he is worth it all. Having two children and now I am a single mom, they NEED me and I don’t always have the best of me to offer but I keep going. I have to. And yes, sometimes, I am angry but I have gotten help for my anger and I have learned to better manage it. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


    1. Pain is tough thing. I struggle emotionally when I am in pain. Please talk to a pain management doctor and a therapist. You can manage both your pain and your emotions. You can’t help your children if you don’t help yourself. And as far as the influences of others, focus on you right now so you can change yours and your children’s situation and the rest will all come through. Baby steps, for now. Big steps later.

  13. I too found this excellent blog by googling chronic pain and anger. I have multiple autoimmune diseases and have had many since childdhood. Even with major immunosuppressive drugs I am still struggling with pain, stiffness and, yes anger. It was / is so helpful to read other’side experiences and hear their struggles expressed in words that could so easily be my own. I have had to learn what triggers my anger.

    Pain is my number one anger inducer followed closely by lack of sleep and hunger. If I’ve had a bad pain night which led to very little sleep and I’m too nauseated to eat the chances of me acting out in anger are virtually 100%. So, I’ve learned how to address what I can (eat, nap, take pain meds), warn people in advance ( “I’m in a lot of pain right now, can we talk about this when I feel better and can listen to you?”) and avoid situations when I’m likely to blow up that are likely to trigger anger. If worse comes to worse, like it started to earlier today, I stop what I’m doing and either get outside our go for a drive or something to distract me until I can come down from being so angry.

    I usually find when I lose my temper that I haven’t been paying attention to the warning signs that my body has sent. It takes a ridiculous amount of effort to monitor all the info my body sends my brain, but it’s worth it.

  14. I needed to run into this because I love my sweetheart so much and would love to be there as much as I can to help but I often feel pushed away or even at times like when she hurts she trys to do what she can or say what she can until I feel as much emotional pain as she does physically.I love her with all my heart .I only want to love and be there .I just don’t know why I feel like a target.I’m on her side.

  15. Many thanks for your information. I was beginning to feel that I was losing it as have been having anger outburst since I have slipped a disc and have been in pain ever since. These out burst have been catching me out as it is only after the event I realise what an arse I’ve been. Understanding possible reasons is helping me recognise when I need to keep my mouth shut, however getting others to understand is much more problematic especially if they have been on the receiving end.

    1. Pain makes us angry. You are not alone. Seek out support whether it is with loved ones, a support group or a therapist. Those are the only ones to better deal with this experience. Good luck to you.

  16. I have been living with chronic pain for 5 years now a tore lumbar disc plus nerve damage well I saw a surgeon I was told I have disc degenerative no saving it I’m scared anger at my body I have two little girls and I’m only 30 I need help coping my relationship is turned bad because I lash out I have had meltdowns everyday why me I can’t walk much or lift anything hurts me I have a 4 year old I can’t play with like a normal parent I’m close to needing surgery getting a discogram done all because I feel on black ice winter 2014

    1. I am so sorry to hear this. Coping is tough with pain and there is a lot of stuff that come with living with pain. My advice and it is advice I have taken -Talk to a therapist. It is the best thing I did for myself. Good luck to you. I hope things get better.

      1. Thank you sounds like a good idea I’m in the grieving stage I’m trying to be strong for my little girls but they try to help I’m just now getting more help I’m not on any medicine so its hard I just want to be alone alot

  17. I have a question the pain is serve today should I go to Dr maybe I was took off medinces all I did so far was get out of bed I’m in tears its a searing pain all in my back

    1. I am sorry Melanie. Call your doctor. Hopefully, they can help you find something to manage the pain at least until it calms down. And stay in bed. You need to focus on getting through this painful flare. Ask someone to pick up a sleep aid to help you sleep through this. Gentle hugs to you. I hope things start to look up soon.

      1. Ok I did call they won’t give me anything so I try to stay still and keep calm today its gotten worse the more doctors poke and probe me or have me try to bend backwards

  18. I just I forget to say due to permanent nerve damage many pain and muscle relaxers stopped working that’s why I’m not on anything so I deal with it as long as I can I do have kids so can’t stay still long

    1. I am sorry. That sucks. Get some rest. See if you can get some help watching the little ones. And I know all about the kids and needing to be there. I am a single mom and my mom passed away last year so I have NO help. On Sunday, I had an RA flare so bad, I was crying and I felt bad because my 8 year old witnessed it. But it was more than I could handle. And I have learned it is okay for my kids to see me as human. Obviously you already know – heating pad, cold pad, Advil or one one of those pain patches. I use the ones that are lidocaine. I think Ben-Gay makes them. You are in my prayers.

      1. Thank you my oldest has seen and knows when I’m in pain a friend gave me a tramadol it just took edge off but has stopped for now I sleep with my heating pad I have tried the patches don’t help my disc is almost gone it hurts more when I move around.sorry to hear about your mom mine helps as much as she can she injured her feet last year.

  19. A bit I’m just gritting me teeth a friend took my oldest so its just the hyper one had me up running at 7 lol I made a doctor appointment for next Friday to at least seen about anything to take

  20. Thanks for your post on dealing with anger whilst enduring chronic pain. Truly, people that haven’t experienced the pain are not going to understand how much pain you are in, and they might not have the utmost sympathy for someone with chronic pain. I took my health for granted before experiencing chronic pain for 3+ years, and I do lash out at times. I remember at times that other people have not caused my pain, so why should I get mad at them? Even family members won’t understand. Sometimes I’ve laughed at the pain, cried because of the pain, and have yelled at the pain. Other people won’t understand unless they’ve experienced chronic pain themselves, so I don’t expect them to understand. Will the pain ever end? Will it stop? Time will tell, but my time is at hand.

    1. Pain is stressful. It makes you irritable especially on the days where it is bad. Will the anger stop? I guess it depends on the anger. If the anger is related to the pain on particular day, you manage. But if it is related to depression, then you have got to seek help. And if you are struggling to cope and angry often, then that is sign you need to talk to a mental health professional. Seeking therapy was the best thing I ever did for myself and my children.

  21. I have a question I’ve had two spine specialist refuse to do a disogram on me l5 s1 lumbar my muscles are weaker and worse muscle spasms last for days should I find another spine doctor this is step before surgery I’m scared

    1. Have you talked to a surgeon? If so, maybe that person can direct you. If not, ask your family doctor for a referral. If you want at second opinion, you have doubts and concerns. Don’t push them aside. Get your answers.

      1. The surgeon may have a referral or your primary doctor or the hospital you are having surgery at. You could also call your insurance company.

  22. I want to write a lot but now have finger hand wrist elbow shoulder pain. And knees feet back neck and fibro and mental ptsd and bipolar anxiety.
    Any suggestions for coping with anger and staying positibe bcuz i really cant do much now. And i been wormin with fibro 17 yrs half my life but…different kind f pain.
    Stomaachs not good f4om takin lotta meds.
    Plz help

    1. I am sorry for what you are going through. Feel what you need to feel, but talk to a someone, professional. I have been depressed – RA and fibromyalgia, pain and life – they do that to you. Therapy helped me, but that did not magically happen overnight. It takes time. And even through you can feel what you need to, don’t dwell in your thoughts. Get up, get out of bed, get some fresh air – baby steps, everyday until you get stronger. Gentle hugs to you.

  23. For God’s sake people, take your anger out on something inanimate. It is so cathartic. Take a rubber hose to a phone book and yell at it. Beat on a boxing bag. I take a cloth and beat on the bathroom tile, it’s not as noisy and doesn’t bother other people in the house. If you suppress your anger the pain will get worse. Beat on something until you cry! Do whatever you can possibly do physically because it releases the anger and keep doing it every day, I promise it will help. It may even release some of that pain. I cry for you all.

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