Addiction and Releasing Fear of Pain

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Pain in any form, whether physical or emotional is never an easy thing to experience.

Because of the uncertainty that is often evoked with any painful occurrence, fear can also result as a side effect of pain. Whether pain results from a physical disease, condition, or injury, or from an emotional trauma, loss, or abuse, fear can commonly coincide with any painful experience.

Fear of the Unknown

Perhaps one of the aspects about pain that triggers a sense of fear is the unknown. Many individuals who live with physical or emotional pain may find them facing uncertainty about many aspects of their lives, including their health, sense of well being, stability and more.

Common questions that may be asked might include, “How will I be able to function with this pain?” “Will I lose my job and financial security?” “How can I maintain a relationship with the people in my life?” and more. Many of the doubts and insecurities that result from pain are often stemmed from and rooted in fear.

Living with Overwhelming Fear

Living with fear on a daily basis can be debilitating, and many individuals will inadvertently develop a means of coping with fear and uncertainty. For some people, addiction and substance abuse can become a means of dealing with an overwhelming sense of fear, which can temporarily alleviate any sense of instability or insecurity.

The behavior of turning to drugs or alcohol to numb a sense of fear or even to deal with pain can lead to an addiction, which can result in devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences.

Releasing the Fear of Pain

Smiling young man in warm clothing looks to his side in forest on a winter dayOne important aspect of healing and finding a true sense of freedom is being able to release a fear of pain and relinquish the need to control the unknown. This is something that can happen gradually and under the guidance of a professional counselor or therapist.

Having professional assistance can be helpful in learning how to develop alternative coping mechanisms for appropriately dealing with feelings such as fear. This allows an individual to break free from an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been struggling with a fear of pain and subsequent addiction, be sure to reach out for help to begin your healing journey today.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What has helped you overcome a fear of pain?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 26th, 2015
Published on