Although I don’t suffer from depression, I find it very interesting how similar the feelings and symptoms are between chronic pain and depression. And I can so empathize with not being able to trust doctors.
This is one reason I am not a great proponent of cognitive therapies. The techniques are helpful sometimes, and I believe it’s good for depression-prone people to learn then. But I am fairly certain that severe depression of the kind I experience is not a thought disorder. It’s not like I woke up one day and decided to see the world in a negative light…
Chronic pain is not a thought disorder either. Being unable to manage constant pain is not a sign of weakness or a need for talk therapy, although many pain patients find counseling beneficial. And it’s not like chronic pain patients wake up one day and decide they’re in pain.
So when mental health professionals focus on a person’s ability to change their thought processes, when my therapist has said, “But think of all you HAVE achieved!” it DOESN’T HELP.
And when doctors say things like, well, it could be worse — and that’s supposed to make us feel better? Am I supposed to feel better than I’m not in a wheelchair… yet?