Should Mental Health Determine Pain Treatment Options?

Patients with a mental health condition might have a hard time accessing opioids for pain relief, while patients with unexplained pain are often referred to psychiatric care, which does little to alleviate their symptoms. Finding treatment can be frustrating and humiliating. Four years ago, Dez Nelson’s pain management clinic demanded that she complete a visit with a psychologist. Nelson was surprised, since she had no history of mental illness, but she didn’t feel that she could push back on the request. “Of course I said okay — I didn’t want to lose my treatment,” Nelson told The Fix. “I was not happy about it, but I did it.” Nelson, 38, went to the appointment and had a mixed experience with the psychologist. She hasn’t been back since and the pain clinic hasn’t asked her to visit a psychologist again. Still, Nelson said that the experience highlighted — yet again — the discrimination pain patients face. “It was a condition of my continued care,” she said. “It seemed like they’re bringing it up in a beneficial light, as part of a multi-pronged approach to pain care. But I don’t think [mental health treatment] should be forced on a patient who doesn’t think they need it.” Chronic pain and mental illness are among the most stigmatized conditions in modern medicine. The conditions frequently intersect and change the way that patients are cared for and treated. Pat...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Addiction Disorders Health-related Medications Mental Health and Wellness Publishers Substance Abuse The Fix Treatment Chronic Pain mental health and pain Opioids Pain Management pain management clinic Pain Relief pain treatm Source Type: blogs

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