Chronic pain, TMS, mind body disorders, or psychosomatic symptoms. Whatever you call them they are hard concepts to understand as a patient. Harder still when you need to explain it to your friends, family, and co-workers. That’s why we’ve listed five important chronic pain quotes.
Do you get lost for words when questions are shot at you rapid fire by well meaning friends? For instance, what is chronic pain like? What causes it? Can you get better?
Clarity is often a result of hearing others speak. Read on to hear what other leading minds have had to say.
Starting with Freud
“A hysterical symptom develops only where the fulfillments of two opposing wishes, arising each from a different psychical system, are able to converge in a single expression.”Sigmund Freud
Yes, go on. Roll your eyes at the mere mention of Freud. But no list of chronic pain quotes is complete without him.
Sure some of his ideas have been outdated.
And yes, the term “hysteria” has been relegated to the history books as other more accurate descriptions of psychosomatic phenomena (anxiety, chronic pain, IBS, migraines) have come into being.
Regardless, Freud was a founding father of mind body medicine. He developed the idea that unresolved feelings or conflicting emotions in our unconsciousness were manifest by our physical body. For example, you come home after a stressful day at work only to have your wife and children nag you for some trivial reason. The unconscious mind would want you to fly into a fit of rage and anger, but consciously you love your family and know you could never do this. And boom, we have conflict! A psychosomatic symptom is born.
“It is precisely this type of psychological double bind wherein shock and stress strongly encode traumatic events and simultaneously impair effective coping behavior that leads to the genesis of many types of mind body dysfunctions that re typically called “psychosomatic problems””Dr Ernest Rossi
Prone to stress? Just been through a traumatic life event? Has an accident left you in persistent physical pain?
There is no denying that mental stress, unchecked emotions, and unconscious feelings can make physical pain ten times worse.
Chronic pain can be a real double-whammy.
How the chronic pain guru explains it
“The pain, stiffness, burning, numbness, tingling and weakness were caused by a mild oxygen deprivation in the muscles, nerves, or tendons involved in each case. In itself this was harmless. Although it could produce more severe pain than anything else I knew of in clinical medicine, you would not be left with residual damage when your symptoms disappeared.”Dr John Sarno
There is no denying that Dr Sarno is a pioneer in pain medicine. Whatever you think about him, love him or hate him, I challenge you to find a more succinct explanation of the mechanism that causes pain. It’s not just “all in your head”. It is caused by a mild and harmless deprivation of oxygen to a region in your body. And yes, I can attest to the fact that it really does hurt!
“If a gazelle escapes the attack of a lion, the next time a lion attacks, it had better do exactly what it did to survive the first time. This mechanism helps us to survive more often than not.”Dr Clancy McKenzie
Coping mechanisms, maladaptations, conditioned behavior – whatever you call it, Dr McKenzie has spent much of his career researching mental illness. This shows how our mind sustains pain, but establishing helpful patterns to escape serious danger. Critical if we are being attacked by a lion. Less-than-ideal if we are just trying to will ourselves out of bed.
I can’t help but think I was once one of Pavlov’s dogs.
“Unless you have a medical problem resulting in clear pathology in your body, your pain can be cured… Just as the nervous system has learned to make your body hurt, you can use your brain to unlearn the pain.”Dr Howard Schubiner
Many have likened chronic pain to a well worn pathway cutting across a field. Dr Howard Schubiner is a firm believer in mindfulness for overcoming pain pathways.
It is undeniable that the mind can cause physical pain. It is a truth that the mind can help cure pain, effectively unlearning years of learnt neural pathways.
There is nothing like hearing from someone else’s experience to help heal from chronic pain. They can shed more insight into our own condition.
As a former pain sufferer, it was incredibly hard to rid myself of chronic pain. So while I “knew” all of the theory I didn’t know what it meant or what to do with it. This is why I have put together a free pdf guide to kick start your recovery (yes recovery) from mind body pain.
Check it out now.