Pain can be defined as an unpleasant feeling of physical and emotional discomfort caused by illness or injury.
Physical pain can arise from the withdrawal symptoms that occur when your body tries to adjust to the absence of drugs or alcohol. These symptoms vary depending on the substance abused but can include nausea, tremors, muscle aches, and insomnia. These physical discomforts are typically temporary and are managed through medication and other appropriate interventions under the care of medical professionals.
Acute pain is intense and brief, signaling injury or localized tissue damage, and usually resolves once the underlying injury is treated. It triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response, causing increased heart and breathing rates. Types of acute pain include:
- Somatic Pain
Felt on the skin or soft tissues just below the skin.
- Visceral Pain
Originates in internal organs and body cavities.
- Referred Pain
Visceral pain felt at a location different from the source, like shoulder pain during a heart attack.
Chronic pain, in contrast, lasts much longer than acute pain and may not have a cure. It varies in intensity and can be either continuous, like in arthritis, or intermittent, like migraines. Chronic pain doesn’t trigger long-term fight-or-flight responses, as the body adapts to the pain.
Repeated acute pain episodes can lead to a buildup of electrical signals in the central nervous system, overstimulating nerve fibers. This phenomenon, known as “windup,” is akin to winding a toy more intensely, causing it to run faster and longer. Similarly, chronic pain can persist long after the initial cause, due to this buildup of signals.
Emotional pain, on the other hand, encompasses the psychological and mental struggles faced by individuals during addiction recovery. It can involve feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These emotional challenges can be addressed through various therapeutic modalities, including individual and group counselling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness techniques.
Emotional pain is a profound feeling of distress caused by non-physical factors like heartbreak, loss, trauma, or feelings of inadequacy and rejection. Its impact on mental well-being is significant, requiring acknowledgment and management. It can feel like a heavy burden, especially when linked to a mental health condition, and may manifest physical symptoms.
Key symptoms of emotional pain include:
- Social Withdrawal / Loneliness
Pulling away from social interactions, finding conversations or social events overwhelming.
- Self-Harm or Harmful Behaviors
Engaging in self-harm or dangerous habits, necessitating compassionate intervention and professional mental health support.
- Emotional Fatigue
Experiencing mental exhaustion that diminishes enthusiasm and energy.
- Negative Thoughts
Persistent negative thinking that hinders clarity and positivity in daily life.
- Changes in Appetite and Weight
Fluctuations in eating habits, leading to loss of appetite or comfort eating.
Psychological pain encompasses various personal experiences marked by an awareness of adverse changes in self-perception and function, accompanied by negative emotions. Unlike physical pain, which is typically localized and caused by physical harm, psychological pain is a lasting, distressing feeling caused by a negative judgment of one’s perceived shortcomings or failures.
Recognising these symptoms is fundamental for mental health and navigating through tough emotional periods with understanding and self-compassion.
Pain and Opioid Use
The opioid epidemic is closely tied to pain management practices involving the use of powerful painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Initially prescribed for chronic pain, these opioids led to widespread misuse and addiction, as their addictive potential was underestimated. This over-prescription created a cycle where individuals seeking pain relief became dependent, leading to both physical and emotional distress within many communities. The aggressive marketing of these drugs, coupled with insufficient patient education about their risks, exacerbated the issue. As tolerance increased, so did dosages, raising the risk of overdose and fatalities. This crisis has highlighted the need for balanced pain management approaches, alternative treatments, and comprehensive patient education, shifting the focus towards sustainable solutions for pain and addiction.
Offering personalised treatment programs for overcoming alcohol addiction, including detox and therapy.
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An opiate rehab treatment program is likely to be the most successful way to treat addiction to heroin.
Overcome cannabis addiction in our supportive detox and rehab, here to guide you through withdrawal and recovery.
Providing comprehensive care for anorexia, focusing on nutritional recovery and psychological support.
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Integrated treatment for individuals with dual diagnosis, combining addiction treatment with mental health care.
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Specialised treatments for eating disorders, offering a blend of medical management and psychological therapy.
Addressing exercise addiction with a focus on developing balanced exercise habits and psychological well-being.
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Treating sex and love addiction with a focus on emotional regulation and developing healthy relationship skills.
Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specializing in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance, the organization facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualized care that addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of patients.
Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.
Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.