CRPS Warriors Foundation

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Understanding the Social Impact of CRPS

If you’re here then I am sure you already know what Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is, but for those who are new here, I’ll give a brief explanation. CRPS is a form chronic pain that typically affects the arm or leg. This is usually after having an injury, surgery, or stroke but the exact cause isn’t well known but that doesn’t diminish the very real pain you’re experiencing.

Understanding the Social Impact of CRPS

Emotional and Psychological Effects of CRPS

  • Depression: Being diagnosed with such a painful and complicated disease can leave the warrior feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, often leading to depression. This despair is deeply intertwined with a profound loss of self-identity. As warriors grapple with CRPS, they are forced to confront an ever-changing reality where limitations abound, leading to feelings of anger, frustration, and loneliness. This complicated disease seemingly emerges from nowhere, demanding a farewell to the person they once were and introducing them to someone new. The journey to rediscovering oneself lies at the core of these emotional upheavals.


  • Frustration/Anger: The poorly understood and often misdiagnosed nature of this disease leads to poor treatment and more questions than answers, which can be frustrating. The lack of identity, stemming from the disease’s sudden constraints, exacerbates these feelings. Warriors find themselves navigating a world that fails to recognize their pain, thereby intensifying feelings of frustration and anger.


  • Loneliness: Adapting to life with CRPS can be scary and isolating. Suddenly, there are limitations to what you can and can’t do. This can be difficult for others to understand which then can cause feelings of frustration and loneliness. But know that you’re not alone, you have support here at the CRPS Warriors Foundation.

“I want you to know it’s OK to feel this way. It’s OK to feel bad. There’s no right or wrong way to be right now. There’s no time limit, or expiration date on your feelings. You have the right to be upset. You have the right to grieve.” (Lopez, 2024)

Social Impact

The social impact of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a topic that needs to be explored and talked about more. Because this disease is so widely misunderstood, sometimes the people around warriors might be in disbelief of the severity of their pain. You might be thinking “Why would anyone think that?” well, the answer lies in the invisibility of the condition. CRPS is not easily detectable by standard medical tests and its symptoms can vary widely from person to person, which often leads to skepticism and misunderstanding among friends, family, and even healthcare professionals.

This disbelief can cause feelings of isolation and frustration as mentioned above. Which is why it is important to create awareness and form discussions about this disease so society can better understand and empathize with the warriors.

At The CRPS Warriors foundation, we have support groups where we encourage our warriors to let these frustrations out. But even so, never be afraid to advocate for yourself. No one has the right to tell you the severity of your pain and no one has the right to make you feel less than. Through collective efforts to promote empathy and create a safe space, we can help lessen the burden of isolation and improve the quality of life for our warriors.

Keep your head up and take it one day at a time.

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