Pain and “growing up”

Growing up is not always easy. Once you are an adult, freedom is often accompanied by challenges. As a young adult, it can be liberating to be free from parents and develop your own social and professional identity.

This means, among other things, moving out from your parent’s house and standing on your own feet. Often, many questions arise: What would I like to do after leaving school? Where would I like to live and who will be important for me? Will I get it all done? And what will my parents say? With freedom comes the risk of failing and new life experiences can be exciting, but also stressful.

This stage in life includes many risk factors for developing and continuing to experience chronic pain. Concurrently, in this time, chronic pain leads to considerable impairment, for example by impacting on relationships, causing classes to be missed, or making it difficult to study or have a job. Within the family, someone with pain may have to rely more on their parents than their peers may have to, which can complicate leaving home and developing an independent life.


Arnett JJ (2007) Emerging adulthood: What is it, and what is it good for? Child Dev Perspect 1:68-73
Stinson J, White M, Isaac L, Campbell F, Brown S, Ruskin D, et al. (2013) Understanding the Information and Service Needs of Young Adults with Chronic Pain: Perspectives of Young Adults and Their Providers.
Clin J Pain 29:600-12