Treating you as a whole person—instead of simply as a patient with chronic pain—includes understanding how anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions may also be contributing to your pain and negatively affecting your overall health and well-being.
This also includes understanding and minimizing any risks you may especially have with taking certain prescription pain medications.
Our comprehensive approach to pain management at UT Health Austin includes increasing emotional wellness. This can also include dealing with chemical dependency and substance use difficulties or disorders.
Addressing your emotional well-being will help improve your pain symptoms and your overall well-being. Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, or special medications like buprenorphine may be recommended and used as ways to help you reduce your own medication-related risks while still achieving your pain treatment goals.
Role of a Psychiatrist
As part of your comprehensive pain care plan, you may meet and work with a Psychiatrist, who is also referred to as an Addiction Psychiatrist, Addiction Medicine Specialist, Addictionologist, or Chemical Dependency Specialist.
This physician will help you identify and manage any emotional wellness issues that might be negatively affecting your pain symptoms and overall well-being.
This physician will also help you identify and manage any chemical dependency factors—also called “substance use difficulties”—that likely negatively affect the safety of your taking certain prescription pain medications like opioids.