Debbie, if I may, I would first like to say that I am very sorry for what you are experiencing. It sounds like a lot of suffering that so many people do not have to experience and can not relate to. Your story makes me appreciate the gift I have, but it also saddens me to hear that you are experiencing a condition that seems to be torturous at times. I admire your optimism, however. I will remember this post.

I feel I may be able to clear some things up here. Semantics often get in the way of what could be a more productive conversation, and less of a debate and I believe, that is the reason for the disconnect between what Mel's points are and the way some respondents are interpreting them.

When many people say something is "in your head", they are implying it is imaginary, what is on someone's mind is not real and conjured up. That is not what Mel is implying here at all. What he is saying, is that indeed, your pain is very very real. And the receptors for that pain exist in your brain and they definitely are causing you a lot of pain. However, this area of our brain that processes pain is not the only part of our brain, and there are things we can do to minimize that pain via psychological efforts and other modalities that relieve things like stress and anxiety, that also effect our brain and increase the amount of "real pain" that we are already feeling.

Your positive attitude and lack of self loathing I would imagine give you a great chance at minimizing your pain. I am not a Doctor, but it seems that if you only take your prescribed medicines on rare occasions when the pain is unbearable, he most likely is not talking directly to you. There are many other people, whose pain is also very real, that cannot live without their medications but are in worse shape than they would be if they were not on them. There is a lot of data that supports many of these individuals have formed dependencies and/or addictions to these medicines and not only has their pain become worse, they now are debilitated by these strong prescription medicines and their relationships with their loved ones are falling apart. By no means, however, do I believe Mel is trying to lump every reader or individual with chronic pain who takes opioid medicines into one group, and I am fairly certain the last thing he is saying is that your pain is not real.

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