Almost everyone will have experienced acute, short-term pain at some point in their lives. You fall, have the misfortune to be involved in an accident, or have surgery. In most cases, you know you will get better – cuts, bruises, strains and fractures heal and you can resume life as though nothing had happened. The confidence that the pain will soon be gone makes it easier to bear. If you do find it too much, almost all the drugs on the market will give you relief while your body mends. But things are very different if the pain is chronic. Once you know that the pain will be with you over time, your mental approach changes. Patience is replaced with resentment or anger that you have been unlucky, that your body has let you down. This darker mood often translates into damage to your personal relationships. Your work suffers. Your marriage comes under pressure. Depression is lurking in the wings as stress builds, making it more difficult for you to sleep. Because you grow afraid of the pain, you stop doing all the things you used to enjoy. A vicious cycle emerges where your depression becomes more dominant as your inactivity increases. This list guarantees long-term suffering: stress, insomnia, inactivity and depression.