Can you die from Chronic Pain?
The "pain" itself isn’t going to kill you, but in the big scheme of things what pain can lead to, can kill you. It can cause anxiety which can alter your heart functions. It can cause depression and cause anxiety which leads to imbalances which encourage suicidal ideation. Increased pain can alter your diet, as can the medications. So, I think that pain can cause death in the bigger scheme of things...not all by itself. Severe pain can also cause shock...
Fainting, also called syncope, is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. Many different conditions can cause fainting. These include heart problems such as irregular heart beat, seizures, panic or anxiety attacks, low blood sugar, anemia (a deficiency in healthy oxygen carrying cells), and problems with how the nervous system (the body's system of nerves) regulates blood pressure. Some types of fainting seem to run in families. While fainting may indicate a particular medical condition, sometimes it may occur in an otherwise healthy individual. So, yes severe pain can cause people to faint do to the above.
Living with chronic pain can significantly alter your life. The impact of chronic pain on the patient and their family is significant. Often the patient enters into a vicious pain cycle between the mind and body where the perceptions of the pain contribute to increased stress, leading to increased tension, frustration and fear which can influence an increase in the experience of the pain, which leads to more agony and so on. The goal in part then is to interrupt this cycle and to optimize pain control and enhance psychological well-being.
The pain system is interconnected with other systems in the brain that underlie emotions, cognitions (thought) and behavior. Therefore a person with a pain problem needs to be open to looking at all aspects of his/her life, emotional state and personality in combination with medical treatment of the pain in order to manage it most effectively. Factors such as stress, pain behaviors, emotions, attitudes and physical activity all contribute to the triggering and maintenance of a chronic pain condition. Sleep disturbance, fatigue, muscle tension, arousal, medication abuse, memory and learning are other factors in the pain system.
Pain is not just a function of the mechanics of the body, it is also an experience; that is, a function of the mind. How we perceive pain and the degree of emotional impact varies from person to person. There are additional factors that contribute to pain. Depression and anxiety for example, can significantly intensify the experience of pain and associated suffering.
Individuals with pain undergo many changes in lifestyle, finances, occupational and relationship functioning. As a result the individual is grieving those associated losses that have come as a result of the chronic pain. Due to inactivity, individuals may gain weight, lose muscle conditioning and this can impact self esteem. Increased frustration can erode self-confidence in one’s sense of control over their life. Individuals can feel overwhelmed with the chronicity of their pain and the associated emotional factors which they feel to some degree each day. You, your family and significant others bring a unique blend of feelings, beliefs, expectations, coping styles, support and skills to the overall management of your pain. An obstacle to effective pain treatment can be the lack of credibility that the patient feels at times with health care professionals. Due to the huge psychological impact the pain has on their life, the patient is sometimes treated as if their pain is not real. For most individuals this is not the case; the pain is a very real and a legitimate condition even if it cannot be visibly seen. The challenge of the chronic pain sufferer is to get appropriate treatment for the pain in addition to having the psychological impact acknowledged and validated.
Pain does not exist [solely] at the site of where "it hurts physically". Pain includes the entire body...
Pain sure can feel like its going to kill you and for anyone to make a comment "it’s not going to kill you", is just arrogant and sarcastic. Those words aren’t necessarily in medical care because it does not validate the patient’s complaints of pain. Those are my thoughts on the topic.