Chronic Pain & Mental Health Support at Mana Health Clinic

Jade Marlow

Trying to break a bad habit?

Does your mental health impact your physical health, sleep, employment, or relationships?

Feeling isolated, unsure, or afraid about what to do for your chronic pain condition?

So, why would you see a Social Worker for habits, sleep, relationships, or chronic pain issues?

First, you need to understand that there are several factors that may lead to unhealthy habits and impact your day-to-day life. These factors may include your hectic schedule (parent, employee, partner, cook and cleaner to name a few), unable to find a work-life balance, time-management issues, amotivation, unhelpful ways of coping with stress or emotional distress (distraction, eating, drinking, spending, or sleeping to name a few) and diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic mental and physical health conditions and symptoms. These issues can compound and lead to feelings of frustration, hopelessness and self-doubt or can cause financial, health, relationship, or family stress. It can be difficult to find healthy and sustainable ways of overcoming these issues and of finding a way back to wellness.

Often without realising it, days, weeks, and months of bad habits have started to stack-up and small issues can grow to big ones, causing increased stress, low self-esteem, and anxiety. The longer it lasts, the more difficult it becomes to break the cycle, manage your stress, and take back control of your day-to-day life.

In fact, sometimes it’s our own mind working against us and the voice that tells us we can’t or won’t overcome obstacles, is our own. The noise of this inner voice can get so loud that it can sometimes drown out our best intentions and the well-meaning support from friends, family, and professionals. Frustratingly, the further we travel down that road the harder it is to find the clarity we need to begin to change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that keep us stuck.

Additionally, if you have the added stress of experiencing a persistent pain issue, it can be even more difficult to break this cycle because our mind and body are screaming at us to ‘be careful’ and do no more damage to ourselves and our body.

What is the link between chronic pain and mental health?

Chronic pain is any kind of pain that doesn’t resolve within 6 months, many different conditions can cause it, and a continual change in peripheral or central nervous systems can maintain that pain overtime. As a complication, anxiety and depression are chronic pain’s unwanted companions and everyone will experience the mental impacts of pain very individually – Some may find themselves with no motivation, with increased stress, disturbed sleep, loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies or unwanted thoughts. Which can in-turn worsen your experience of pain.

In other words, mental health and chronic pain are a double-edged sword – Mental health issues can worsen chronic pain, and pain can exacerbate mental health issues.

Try a new way to approach chronic pain, mental health and lifestyle change

We know that the consequences of chronic pain on mental health are enormous and are inextricably linked. And we know any version of a mental health issue can be isolating and incapacitating. When Mana Health Clinic was first established, our long-term goal was to provide holistic healthcare to the South West, to provide care for our clients physical AND mental health because while mental health and chronic pain looks different for everyone we know that living in pain (physical or psychological) is stressful and stress itself can contribute to a range of wide-ranging health problems and influence the physical experience of pain.

Additionally, anxiety can make a person more sensitive to their experience of distress or even influence them to “catastrophize” their pain. Additionally, pain can be isolating, and isolation can worsen feelings of depression. Therefore, managing your emotions and general mental health can directly affect the intensity of your pain and improve your capacity to deal with stress.

From July onwards at Mental Health Clinic, Jade (who you may know from reception/admin) will provide a combination of psychological therapies and methods to provide objective and compassionate guidance and coaching. In relation to mental health issues, lifestyle changes and healthy habit formation, we use a combination of CBT, ACT, mindfulness, supportive therapy, self-care and lifestyle strategies to work together to empower you to retake control of your life, to learn to respond instead of react, and achieve lifelong goals.

As a Social Worker with a Professional Certificate in Pain Sciences, Jade will provide therapy for psychological and physical health problems with the aim of creating small but consistent steps that support long-term effective pain management.

Our aim is to help you:

  • Learn to understand your pain and how your mind and body learns to protect you from it
  • Learn how you can do what you need to do when you’re worried and in pain through up-to-date research and pain education
  • Develop skills to cope with your pain, re-train your perspective of persistent pain and live a full life
  • Re-training and re-wiring your experiences of pain, to help you learn to live well with persistent pain and create reductions in long-term pain intensity
  • Address any anxiety or depression that may accompany your pain



This blog has been written by Jade Marklew, our Social Worker.



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