I’ve noticed how very quickly my mood changes as a result of the kind of physical pain I experience. I can wake in the morning with an aching body and feel a little down, but often shake it off in a reasonable amount of time. If the pain persists my mood will predictably worsen. If I am having a good day, and I am suddenly or even gradually afflicted, I can almost watch my mood deteriorate as my ability to function does as well. It’s as if I am watching a movie of someone else, like an outer body experience, because as it happens, I feel so utterly and completely out of control.
What amazes me most is how rapidly my affect deteriorates based on the severity of the pain. It feels so sudden at times, and I feel so very helpless. Most typically when the pain sets in, my demeanor will turn melancholy and teary, almost as if a switch has been flipped.
I believe when the pain sets in, so does my fear. The fear and wonder…”Will I be able to enjoy the day with my children? Will I be able to take care of my children the way I want to? Who will I let down today if my pain persists? How long will it last?” That fear takes grip and the sadness is at times a bit overwhelming.
What does physical pain trigger for you? Do you notice a sudden change in mood too? How quickly does it set in?