Paintracking Book Author Hosts Facebook Chat To Help Patients Overcome The Challenges of Living With Chronic Pain!

February 21st, 2013

Deborah Barrett

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On February 20th, Paintracking book author Deborah Barrett, PhD, MSW, LCSW hosted a "chat" event on The Neuropathy Association's Facebook page aimed at helping patients overcome some of the challenges of living with chronic neuropathic pain.

Missed this Facebook Chat? Sign up to receive email alerts from The Neuropathy Association once the transcript is published!

Deborah Barrett, PhD, MSW, LCSW, is a clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Paintracking: Your Personal Guide to Living Well with Chronic Pain. Dr. Barrett is also a psychotherapist in private practice. She has published self-help articles on chronic pain and scholarly papers on health, illness, and public policy. She also hosts a companion website to her book at  

Dr. Barrett’s chronic pain journey began in June 1994, when she was 28-years-old and weeks from completing her PhD in sociology at Stanford University. What she first experienced as sore arms from typing transformed into widespread, debilitating pain. It took her many months to receive appropriate diagnoses and even more time to figure out how to manage the painful symptoms. For Dr. Barrett, writing Paintracking—over a span of fifteen years—was as much about helping herself cope as it was about helping millions ofothers battling chronic pain. Dr. Barrett shares her healing journey and offers tips to help others to track and minimize pain’s impact on every aspect of their life. The paintracking approach is all about understanding your own body’s reactions—what helps and what hurts—so that you can make informed choices and improvements.

This Facebook Chat brought together over 200 patients and their family members and friends virtually and offered strategies to better understand how to:

- cope with chronic pain conditions like neuropathic pain;

- reduce pain and its effects; 

- proactively keep pain from becoming suffering;

- deal with chronic pain’s impact on issues like staying active, managing family and social life, pursuing a career, among others; 

- treat pain as data, and then experiment with available resources and strategies to gain greater control over one’s experience; and

- improve overall quality of life and care. Living well with neuropathic pain is affected by timing of the diagnosis, symptom management, and regular visits with your healthcare professionals.

During the Chat, Dr. Barrett also emphasized that, “the people who live with pain are the only ones with 24/7 access to data on each moment, and this knowledge offers power. The key to improvement is figuring out what helps and increasing the length and duration of your best moments."  

Our Facebook Chat events offers a unique opportunity for you to hear from and ask questions of a health care expert in the field as well as of your peers--patients and caregivers--who are battling neuropathy and neuropathic pain. In addition, they stress the importance of active engagement in one’s own care through deliberate experimentation.

A special thanks to Dr. Barrett for giving her time and expertise to speak with our neuropathy community!


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