Pain Disorder (A Detailed Guide)

This article will highlight one of the most known disorders, that is, pain disorder, followed by an overview of its symptoms, treatment, psychological effects and the primary reasons behind it. 

Pain disorder is a kind of pain; a person is facing for an undefined period in one or more areas.

It can be in the head, back, stomach, and any other part of the body.

Usually, a pain disorder is a result of psychological stress, and it immensely affects the day to day functioning of a person. 

Although a pain disorder is the result of psychological stress, emotional and mental stress can also add to it.

Moreover, the time for a pain disorder is not specified, as it might end instantly, and in extreme cases, it can take up to years.

In such cases where the chronic pain lasts for so long, it not only adds to the physical disability of a person, but it might also affect his psychological health, causing depression, anger, and further inducing low self-esteem in the patients. 

It is useful to use the correct methodology to get over the problems occurred in pain disorder.

Another important factor associated with pain disorder is, the severity of the pain, the pain can be extremely severe, and render the functionality of a person, making hurdles for him in their routine movement too.

The pain can be so severe that a slight change will worsen it. 

Pain may long for a day or a more extended period spanning over the years.

In this period, most medicines do not work too, patients consult specialists also, to reduce their pain, but the results are not very significant. 

A pain disorder usually takes time to get cured; medicines and treatments do not have any significant impact on its durability.

Hence, the patients suffering from pain disorder from longer whiles even get suicidal, and readily wants to end their life, owing to the severity of a pain disorder.  

A pain disorder can start at any time, and any age can begin at an early age and lasts till the end of life.

A pain disorder can occur due to a primary psychological reason, or it can also be resultant of one or more factors. 

A person undergoing a pain disorder might behave differently, too, due to the immense psychological impact of a pain disorder as the person is in pain, both physically and psychologically. 

Patients do seek medical treatments, to cure a pain disorder, or to get a partial relief during pain at least.

Is Fibromyalgia a pain disorder?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes pain in one’s muscles, bones, nerves, and ligaments.

Moreover, Fibromyalgia also causes tiredness, the person having Fibromyalgia undergoes fatigue, and laziness throughout the day, which subsequently affects his day to day activities.

The people suffering from this disease also experience problems with their memory and sleeping at night. 

The primary reason behind these could be psychological, as when the person is undergoing intense physical pain, he finds it hard to pay attention to things, and are unable to focus too, subsequently affecting the memory of the affected person.

The signs at the beginning of the disease are anxiety, depression, and headaches.

If you feel your body being stiff in the morning after you wake up, then that means you are suffering from Fibromyalgia, as stiffness in the body is one of the initial symptoms of Fibromyalgia. 

A person who has been physically or mentally abused will usually suffer from Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia in adults is typically a consequence of physical abuse in childhood, the majority of the adults undergoing Fibromyalgia were reportedly abused in childhood, which had left a lasting impact on their physical and emotional health, resulting in Fibromyalgia in future.  

Hence, due to its severity and similarity in symptoms, it can be said that Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder, as the person experiencing it feels pain in more than one area of their body, and the reason behind it can be both psychological, and physical, similar to a pain disorder. 

Moreover, Fibromyalgia also makes the person suffering from it unable to function correctly, like that in a pain disorder.

In addition to this, the symptoms of fibromyalgia and pain disorder are the same, as they both affect the psychological health of the patient, making it difficult for the patient to remember things, and focus too.

Fibromyalgia can occur due to some mental stress, which is one of the symptoms of a pain disorder.

Hence, it can be said that Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder.

What is somatoform pain disorder?

Another branch of pain disorder is a somatoform disorder.

Somatoform disorders are a group of psychological disorders in which the patient undergoes certain situations that cannot be adequately described.

It is because a somatoform disease can cause more than one symptom; the reason for that is they can be created through a few different ways like general medical conditions, mental illness, or even substance abuse — neither or less they can cause the patient to feel extreme heights of misery and agony.  

The somatic symptoms are Aching, Neurologic problems, Weakness, Numbness, and Gastrointestinal problems.

Most people suffering from Somatoform disorder suffer from anxiety, as well.

As there is no way to explain their situation physically, but the patients do not fake having a disease. 

These symptoms affect the daily routine of the person suffering, as well. 

A doctor has to run quite a few tests to see if there is any other reason for the symptoms before diagnosing the illness as Somatoform disorder.

Due to there being no physical explanation for their symptoms, the patients feel stressed out, and they start thinking about their condition even more, which makes their illness worse, and this can also carry on as the year’s pass.

All the symptoms match with the symptoms of a pain disorder; hence, a Somatoform disease is a pain disorder.

What is the difference between Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome?

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome are types of pain disorders. If they were to differentiate between them, then according to research, these two disorders are quite similar to each other.

Although there are a vast number of opinions of medical experts on both of these conditions, some say that they are the same, and some say they are entirely different from each other. 

I think these two are the same, and there is a chance they might be related to each other. 

Both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome are similar as they have some symptoms that are the same.

The only difference is that the pain in Fibromyalgia is the frequent issue of the patients, while the patients of Chronic Pain Syndrome mostly complain about the extreme misery they face while dealing with the illness. 

The symptoms that are similar in both of these diseases are having trouble sleeping, constant headaches, facing issues with remembering things, unconsciousness, stomach issues like diarrhea, etc. and anxiety or depression.

Most of these symptoms occur because the patient is in so much pain that they cannot focus on anything, and as a result, they face problems remembering things and sleeping too.  

The methods to cure these two diseases are similar to one another too.

Mostly patients of both disorders consider getting educated on the chaos and learn techniques or strategies to deal with their issue.

In Conclusion, these two are not so different from each other.

What are the symptoms of pain disorder?

The severity of it can lead the person suffering from losing control of their bodies.

A pain disorder has a few symptoms which are experienced by the person suffering from it. 

The most prominent symptom of a pain disorder is not able to remember things correctly.

The pain, in its way, overpowers their mind, and all they can think about is the pain.

The severe pain of a pain disorder also makes the patient have difficulties sleeping because they cannot relax due to the severity of the pain. 

The patient sometimes feels miserable, which is a symptom, as well. In a situation of a pain disorder, the doctors cannot provide any permanent cure for the pain as it is mostly due to any physical abuse the patients faced when they were young, so this makes the patients feel miserable about their condition. 

This misery leads to the person suffering or experiencing the disorder to lose any hope of getting cured and that initiate negative thoughts in their minds.

This further drives the patient to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Due to all this, some patients think that the only way to break free from the pain is to give up on life and attempt suicide.  

Pain disorder can also affect the social life of the patient as they feel sick all the time and would not want to work-study or have any social interaction.

Pain disorder can be so severe that it can make the patient do crazy things; they can never imagine doing if they were not affected by the disease.

Will chronic pain ever go away?

Chronic pain is a severe condition. It makes the person suffering feel very weak and miserable.

Due to this misery, the patients suffering are willing to use any treatment for their condition as long as it heals them completely.

So, there are many mythical methods for the cure of chronic pain, as well.  

Treating chronic pain is very hard, according to doctors.

Sometimes dealing with the reason that initiated the pain does not cure it, and the doctors need to run numerous tests to find out.

Sometimes the pain might seem simple, and so does the cure, but when they think they have cured the pain, sometimes it stays even if the original reason for it starting was cured. 

At some points, the illness is so mysterious that after doing everything they can, the doctors still are not able to come up with a cure for it.

Chronic pain can be treated, and it can go away, but in some cases, getting the treatment of the pain is hard for the doctors.

How do you get rid of chronic pain?

The purpose of treating chronic pain is to reduce pain and improve the ability of how to function correctly.

Many treatments available, but all of the pain can not be cured but can reduce to some extent. 

Different kinds of medicines used to cure chronic pain; these help people having various types of illnesses. 

Physiotherapy, a little exercise, occupational, and behavioral therapy can also help treat chronic pain.

Occupational therapy tells me how to do different tasks differently. Yoga and some other like methods can be availed.

Along with medicines, some exercise helps cure chronic pain.

Some relaxing activities also used to reduce pain; body chemicals that produce pain can be reduced by relaxing, for example maintaining a pain diary.

A specialist doctor’s advice needed for relaxing and stress reduction methods Stress reduction methods are also helpful in reducing pain, but it should be for several weeks for better results.

Some Helpful Resources

  1. The Autoimmune Brain: A Five-Step Plan for Treating Chronic Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Fatigue, and Attention Disorders
  2. Feldenkrais Easing Chronic Pain -Neck/Back/CRPS/Fibromyalgia
  3. Treating Somatization: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach
  4. Somatization and Psychosomatic Symptoms
  5. Treating Somatization: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Frequently Asked Questions

What is somatoform pain disorder?

Somatoform pain disorder belong to a category of psychological ailments in which the person experiences various physical symptoms that would be very inconsistent or may not have a medical explanation. 

What are the symptoms of pain disorder?

Some of the most common symptoms of pain disorder include distorted cognitive functioning, or negative cognitive functioning, this would include the feelings of hopelessness/despair, lack of activity or disability, chronic pain (persistent), fatigue, anxiety, depression, disrupted social relationships and feelings of loneliness. 

What is the best treatment for chronic pain?

There are various treatment options for chronic pain disorder.

The general medicinal treatments include topical and oral ones, depending on the presenting problems.

Psychotherapy may be employed for treating the underlying psychopathology. 

What is an example of chronic pain?

There are various ailments that may induce chronic and debilitating pain.

Such ailments include, diabetes, multiple scelrosis, AIDS, arthritis etc. 

What happens if chronic pain is left untreated?

If left untreated, chronic pain may hamper everyday life functioning of an individual and may cause great distress to the person.

This may also lead to loss of income or general health and may impact the overall well being of the sufferer. 

Is chronic pain a disability?

It is not listed as a disability, however, it does undermine the overall quality of life of the sufferer. 


  1. Pain disorder: An Overview
  2. What is Fibromyalgia?
  3. Somatoform Pain disorder
  4. Call for help!
  5. Depression: A disability 
  6. Manage your anxiety