A chronic pain patient may feel stigmatized. A patient feeling stigma is at risk for worse health outcomes.

Sources of stigma:

(1) no visible injury (invisibility) AND failure to participate fully at work

(2) no visible injury AND failure to participate in social activities

(3) receiving an opioid used to treat opioid use disorder (methadone, buprenorphine)

(4) cultural attitudes and stereotypes

(5) concurrent mental health problem

(6) concurrent medical problem


Projectors of stigma may include:

(1) physicians and other healthcare professionals

(2) teachers or bosses

(3) family member

(4) peers


Factors that can increase the feelings of stigma:

(1) depression

(2) sleep deprivation

(3) self-blame (internalization)


Consequences of stigma may include:

(1) isolation and withdrawal

(2) avoidance

(3) anger

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