I am going to discuss anger in much more detail under the anger/victim section. I am also going to repeat myself several times making a few of the following points.
There is a “genealogy” of frustration/anger. It is:
There are two types of “victimhood”:
Perceived victimhood is when you feel you have been wronged but you really haven’t. Examples are not being invited to a party, being cut off in traffic, etc.
True victimhood is when you have really been wronged or treated badly. Examples are being passed up for a legitimate promotion, bullied at school, assaulted and robbed, etc.
With both perceived and real victimhood, the end result is frustration/anger. The other similar characteristic is that they will both destroy your quality of life. The main difference is that real victimhood is much harder to process and let go.
In the world of chronic pain, you are a true victim. This is particularly true in the worker’s compensation system. You are being treated terribly. If you are not angry, then you are unconscious or incredibly skillful in suppressing you anger. I personally cannot talk to most claims examiners for more than five minutes without losing my mind. They have no medical background; they have not seen you, yet they complete say over how I am able to treat you. They are controlling your ENTIRE life. You have very little control of the circumstances.
Right now, I am treating a 45 y/o woman who had a simple decompression surgery about two years ago. She had only back pain, which generally does not respond to a laminectomy. She has finally let go of the frustration of going through an operation that had a low chance of success. Her spine is still in good condition. What has come out over the last few months is that she has crippling anxiety. She cannot sleep. We are working hard with the DOCC principles with some nice early success. However, my hospital in Seattle, Swedish Medical Center, has developed some excellent resources to help the process along. Her claims examiner will not allow treatment. It is as if we are looking at a pot of gold, but it is on the other side of a deep gorge without a bridge. With the engagement, she has already shown she would already have been well on her way to recovery. Instead of providing the tools to calm down her nervous system, they are giving cause for extreme frustration. That would include me who knows from experience how well she would do with the right support. Even writing this post has my blood pressure up significantly.