SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 100 million Americans live with some form of chronic pain, according to the Institute of Medicine. Many times that number live with or care about a person with pain. How do they cope when pain becomes an unwelcome houseguest?
Here are some typical comments from family members:
My husband lashes out when he feels bad. I know it's the pain talking, but I'm boiling inside. Someday, I'm afraid I'll burst!
We live paycheck to paycheck. We're in debt, being sued for medical bills. Everything's on me. What if I get sick?
I know my mom's pain is my fault.
Based on interviews with the family members of people with chronic pain, the three-part American Chronic Pain Association Family Matters video explores the challenges families deal with and offers practical suggestions for improving the quality of family life.
"In our interviews, we learned that the only difference between the experience of the person with pain and that of the loved one is that the loved one does not have the physical pain," noted Penney Cowan, founder and executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association. "Everything else is the same. The fear, anger, loss, exhaustion, financial stress--- all the emotional impact of pain--- affects the family member as well. But often the family's needs are overlooked in the focus on the individual with pain."
The Family Matters video addresses issues like managing household responsibilities, dealing with anger, sexual intimacy, and helping children understand pain in the family. "When one member has chronic pain, the entire family needs to find new ways of coping if the family is to survive and thrive," says Penney Cowan. "It's important that everyone has his or her needs met. It isn't always easy, but it is possible. Watching this video together can be a first step to finding a new normal that will support all the members of the family."
Family Matters is available free on line at the ACPA's web site, theacpa.org. The direct link is http://www.theacpa.org/family-matters
About the American Chronic Pain Association
The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has offered support and education for people with chronic pain since 1980. ACPA support groups meet in the United States and in many other nations. In addition, the ACPA provides a wealth of materials, including self-help manuals, videos, workbooks, tools, and other resources for people with pain and their families. These materials, created by people with pain for people with pain, offer unique insight into the reality of chronic pain and its management and hope for improving quality of life for those who live with pain daily.
Learn more about the American Chronic Pain Association at www.theacpa.org.
SOURCE American Chronic Pain Association