Do you have chronic pain? Does your doctor not take your pain seriously? If so, then keep reading. We have mentioned reasons why some doctors don’t understand their patients’ condition. You will also learn some tips on how you can get your health provider to take your pain seriously.
Why doesn’t my doctor take my pain seriously?
There can be several reasons why your doctor doesn’t take your chronic pain seriously. Some of the common ones are:
Fear of Failure
Sometimes, health experts only feel afraid that they can’t give you a solution. We must say that this is not the conversation any doctor wants to have, as they have the responsibility to help patients no matter what. This is why many of them keep asking you to visit them, even if they don’t have experience with pain management.
This is the most common issue. Your doctor may know a patient, someone who is experiencing mild pain, and they compare your condition with that patient. Some doctors don’t understand that even patients with similar problems might have a different threshold of pain. They don’t understand that you have tried everything to resolve your concerns and are still facing the same issue.
Several doctors have to work in an environment that tightly limits their time with their patients. This is why they find it difficult to understand the reason for your complex pain.
Lack of Knowledge
Some researchers have indicated that at a neurological and psychological level, women feel pain differently than men. Autoimmune disorders, TMJ, and fibromyalgia are more common in females than males. However, several health providers are not aware of this fact.
How to Get my Doctor to Take my Pain Seriously
The following are some ways that you can use to make your doctor take your pain seriously.
Find the Right Doctor
It is indeed challenging to find the proper health professional. Of course, not everyone has the option to visit another doctor when you already have seen one. However, if possible, you need to seek an expert who believes in you and understands your pain. You and your doctor need to be on the same page when it comes to your health.
It would be best to choose a doctor who you can trust and talk about the symptoms and pain you are experiencing. This is the most important thing for a healthy patient-doctor relationship. So, if you feel that your health provider is not taking you seriously or doesn’t have enough knowledge, it’s better to have a second opinion.
Keep a Pain Diary
This is a symptom log that contains the symptoms you are regularly observing. Tracking your pain level and problems can give you helpful information to discuss with your doctor. It will help your physician to understand how your problem impacts your life and identify your pain patterns. The best part is if your appointment happens on a day when you don’t feel any pain, this diary will show your doctor that your pain is still a severe problem in your life.
You can even rate your pain regularly so that your doctor can understand how your pain changes every day. In this case, you can use any app, pain diary, or simply a paper to keep a record of your chronic pain details.
Learn Precise Words for Your Pain
Sometimes patients don’t know how to describe their pain. They don’t find the right words and language to discuss their physical sensations with the doctor. You may never find a word that dictates your severe pain perfectly. However, if you learn several words that reflect certain types of pain and sensation, you can help your physician diagnose your problem.
Here are some words that you can use to communicate with your doctor. Note the words that describe your pain.
Communicate Your Feelings
We all know that it is hard to speak up for yourself, but it is essential for you to avoid any future problems due to chronic pain. Going through this challenging situation will be worth it in the end. Telling your specialist that you don’t feel being taken seriously may help you. You can also tell that you don’t feel like listening to you or understanding what you are discussing with them.
You need to understand that your mental health and pain are essential for you. If you don’t receive the assistance and support you need, you need to communicate this problem.
Learn about Your Symptoms
With increased awareness and access to the internet, many people usually take self-diagnosis by learning about their symptoms online. Yes, this can indeed be harmful and dangerous; plus, it can lead to panic. But being aware of your possible health problems can help you while visiting a doctor.
You also need to know about your family medical history and check whether your symptoms match with it. The more knowledge you have about the things happening in your body, the more easily you can communicate with your physician.
Be Specific and Speak Up
Once you understand the symptoms and possible health conditions you may have according to the symptoms, you need to speak up. Be specific about where, when, and how your symptoms manifested, as it will be beneficial for you. If the doctor suggests treatment options that you have already tried, tell them.
Don’t be afraid to tell everything to your doctor. Don’t stop talking and telling your problem if you feel that your doctor doesn’t understand your concern. Make sure to repeat yourself if needed. Don’t forget that they are not mind readers.
Take Someone to Back you Up
Try to take your family member, friend, or partner to your appointment. Ask them to tell about your symptoms if your physician is skeptical. This is more important for people who have more tolerance for pain and don’t look sick. One of the pain diagnosis methods doctors use is to assess the pain level from the face of the patient. This is why people who don’t wear the pain on their face experience difficulty getting the proper care.
Your backup needs to be a person who is familiar with what you are going through. They should also have the courage to tell the doctor that they misinterpreted your problems.
Explain the Impact of your Pain on Your Life
Unfortunately, health providers take your chronic pain more seriously when they notice that your pain affects your ability to care for yourself, maintain relationships, and work. Do you experience pain that prevents you from performing any work? Do you find it difficult to play with your children, use public transport, or drive yourself due to chronic pain? Do you avoid going out or doing exercises because of pain?
If you have dealt with this situation, you would know severe pain can impact every aspect of your life, whether you have pain in your legs or head. Pain also makes you feel angry quickly and cause you significant fatigue. Most patients stop doing things such as cleaning, cooking, and excising, which are essential for self-care and health.
So, tell your doctor if the pain is interfering with your everyday work. Pain is not only an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience but also a sign of chronic health problems. Furthermore, it also leads you to make compromises and forced choices that hurt your life, relationships, and work. Ensure that your doctors know everything about the chronic pain you are suffering from and the symptoms you are experiencing.
Whether you have mild or chronic pain, if you feel it continuously for several days, you need to take it seriously. Although pain can occur because of stress, fatigue, or mental pressure, it can also be due to a severe health condition. Apart from this, severe bodily injuries can also make you suffer from chronic pain.
If it is a symptom of any severe health condition and stays untreated, you might experience more health problems in the future. It will result in more pain and trouble. This is why it is vital to resolve your pain, no matter where it is. So, if your doctor is not taking you seriously and you have used all the mentioned tactics, then it’s better to find another doctor who believes you. You can also check the reviews on the internet to find the best doctor who has specialization and experience in pain managing methods. This way, you can find the right physician for your chronic pain.