Coping mechanisms

From: Helen Dynda (
Thu Jan 6 23:40:30 2000

I am a firm believer in learning as much as I can about adhesions and adhesion-related concerns; because I truly believe that "knowledge is power in a doctor/patient relationship!!" Perhaps this zest for knowledge is also helping me as I continue to try to cope with chronic pain.

In the process of doing research on adhesions and adhesion-related concerns, I learned that *distraction* is a psychological coping technique. Without realizing it I had already been using this coping mechanism for many years - since I was a child. I had grown up in a home besieged by alcoholism! I found out for the very first time in 1984 at age 53 that my father's alcoholism had affected my entire life; and that I was now an Adult Child of the Alcoholic (ACOA). ACOA's learn very early in life to find ways to cope with their unhappy home life.

The coping strategy of distraction has helped me to cope! How does distraction accomplish this? By keeping the mind occupied with new experiences and new information, I have been able to block a great deal of pain before it reaches my brain - greatly reducing the pain level I actually feel. Mentally blocking pain before it reaches the brain is an example of what is known as the *mind-body connection* - but this will be the subject for another time.

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