This week I've been thinking about how we use language in the medical world, and how this can cause more problems for people than we mean it to. I'm going to break down some of the more common ways in which I think our language fails us, and think about a way forwards which is less distressing for everyone involved.
Bit of a ranty blog post this week, based on some things I've been reading on social media and general societal beliefs. Warning for discussions of terminal illness and death behind the cut, as well as why I don't think you can fight your way to wellness.
My previous post explaining chronic pain (and my post about how to manage it) were quite popular, so this week I'm bringing you more of my reflections on working with people who are struggling with chronic pain.
Last week we looked at chronic pain - what it is, and how it develops. This week, we're going to be talking about pain management. Pain management is the main part of my day job, so I've got a lot to say about it! Hopefully, people will find it helpful.
Every time I tell someone that I work with people who have chronic pain, they want to know exactly what that means. I've been taking my time writing this blog post because it's complicated, but I think everyone should know about chronic pain whether they have it or not. Read on to find out what it is.
As a clinical psychologist, I love working with people with chronic physical health conditions. It's interesting, frustrating, difficult, rewarding work - for both me and my clients! This week, I've been thinking about the things people say to me the most often, and how I usually respond.
You only have to put the words "opioid crisis" into a search engine these days to find tales of terror, addiction and death. "NHS accused of fuelling rise in opioid addiction," "Can the UK curb the looming crisis," these headlines are frightening and would have you believe that every person who even looks at a fentanyl patch will be addicted to heroin before the week is out. Understandably, this has important implications for people who take opioids to manage chronic pain. There are lots of things we can do about this situation, but here are three of the things that I think are important, based on my work in chronic pain services as a clinical psychologist.
Dr Sarah Blackshaw: Clinical Psychologist, blogger, tea drinker, interested in dinosaurs and shiny objects