Chronic pain: An invisible disease whose sufferers are unfairly stigmatized

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Negative beliefs that people living with chronic pain have become dependent on their medications, are exaggerating the severity of their condition, and are lazy are widespread. Photo: Pexels


(Marimée Godbout-Parent/ The Conversation) — Imagine living with pain every day for months, or even years — pain that is so intrusive, it disrupts every day of your life.

Unfortunately, this is the daily reality of millions of people living with chronic pain. And all too often, they find their condition being stigmatized or even denied outright.

As a doctoral student in the epidemiology of chronic pain, I have the opportunity to work with patient partners. Given the high prevalence and multiple impacts of this disease, it is high time we started working to change attitudes and confront the prejudices that surround it.

Before discussing chronic pain, let’s start at the beginning. Is pain always a negative thing? Of course not. Pain is essential to our proper functioning. It acts as an alarm system to warn us of danger. (…)

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