When someone is searching for a diagnosis for their chronic pain or they are already diagnosed they are automatically labeled a "patient". When someone is labeled a patient they get this mindset that they are sick. Normally when someone goes to the Doctor they are truly sick. The definition of being sick is your body's immune response fighting against bacteria that either causes pneumonia, influenza, the common cold, ect.
People who are being treated for their chronic pain feel like they get into a rut. Once you get into the unending Doctor's appointments and daily medications you do truly feel sick. It gets to the point that people wonder if its ever going to end and if a depression starts this feeling of "sick" gets ingrained even more.
A lot of those who have Chronic Pain there family and friends tend to "baby" or not expect much out of them. This leaves them in the patient or sick roll. With Chronic Pain especially RSD it is hard to do everything you want or need to do. For those with advanced RSD family members may have to assist them with their daily activities. Even those with less advanced RSD many family members may see that their sister, daugher, loved one; is not able to do what they once were able and get the "sick" or patient mindset.
I have never thought myself as sick. I have RSD but I am not sick. RSD is a dysfunction of the nervous system. We may not feel well at times due to our pain but we can still enjoy ourselves. We can love our lives and have Chronic Pain. Thanks to medical advances people with pain both acute and chronic are living more full filling lives.