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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/18/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm an award-winning writer researching for an article on the connections between pain and certain psychological issues, such as Stoicism (denying pain and all emotions); Catastrophism (always expecting the worst); Excessive Optimism (wishful thinking); Inflexibility; and People-Pleasing (needing to be liked by everyone). Has anyone here been working with these tendencies in themselves as one way to help manage their chronic pain? If so, I'd love to find out how you're doing it and how it's helping or not helping.Thanks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/18/2009 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Franky5,
Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum of Healing Well. I believe there's something in the forum rules about needing to obtain the approval of the administrator for research. You might want to read them, and then e-mail the administrator and see if he'll approve.



Forum Administrator

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 9810
   Posted 8/19/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Peter Waite, Founder/Editor - Community, Information, Resources

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/19/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Franky5,
Could you tell me a little more about your background? I have a professional background in mental health, although I'm not here to give medical advice, but since you're asking those questions I'm curious if you are working with some experts who will be interpreting the information, or assisting you (I'm not volunteering!!).

I would suggest reading through a lot of threads here and evaluate a little of what you observe (casual observations or other). Then I would love to turn this into a discussion. How the information gets interpreted is important at least to me because it's easy to misinterpret and slide into a "blame the victim" mentality. Also, considering research relating to these tendencies in people in general would, to me, be an important part of it.

Those of us who deal with chronic pain often are misunderstood by our family, friends, and the general public. One huge issue for us is how we feel the brunt of attempts to stop drug diversion, which we certainly don't support. It seems to result in undertreatment of pain for many of us, and I think psychological issues need to be interpreted in that context.

Regarding denial, I would say that I it's a very useful coping skiils at times for us, as well as for many people dealing with serious life situations. Otherwise you stay mired in it. But that's different from denying all emotions.

I would also share personally it was extremely disappointing when my double fusion surgery failed. For me, and many others here, surgery is a last resort after we've gone through many treatments. And surgeons can make big promises that, of course we want to believe. I am in the proces of realizing how much that has affected me psychologically, and my surgery was nearly 2 years ago.

Ok, that's a bit of my rambling. I hope we hear from you, and that this can be an interactive process.



New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a professional writer who has covered health issues, especially holistic health, for a number of magazines, reading and interpreting studies, speaking with a variety of experts and lay people with a range of views. I understand that people with pain are naturally sensitive ab the idea of psychological or personality traits contributing to pain, fearing that this will lead to "blame-the-victim" or "all-in-your-head" conclusions. The point of my article, however, is to offer readers, who are people with pain and the practitioners working with them, one more possible avenue to help manage pain. Medical research in all fields has begun to take a strenuous look at how our thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states affect our physical health, and this information is offering us more options for healthcare.

Today I had a very enlightening conversation with a woman who's had fibromyalgia for 15 years and an acoustic neuroma 3 years ago, all resulting in serious, life-changing chronic pain. This is a woman who ran two marathons, who describes herself as driven, perfectionist, and stoic, someone who could always push through anything. What she realizes now is that those qualities are making it hard for her to accept her present situation, and, in some ways, making it worse, because of the shame and the guilt and the self-disappointment she feels. Here's a simple but powerful example she gave me of how her stoicism, or tendency to ignore her feelings and push through anything, exacerbates her pain: when going through a pile of ironing, she has trouble allowing herself to take a break, because she's accustomed to always finishes everything. But if she doesn't take a break, she is in terrible shape by the end of the ironing. So she is learning to be less stoic, to pay attention to her small pain, and to take a rest, so she doesn't end up with the debilitating pain.

I'm interested in hearing from people who have similar self-awareness, especially around these tendencies: Catastrophism (always expecting the worst); Wishful Thinking or Excessive Optimism (where maybe they aren't as proactive as they could be); People-pleasing; and Inflexible my-way-or the -highway thinking.

I hope this helps!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to decline any further interest. As I said, I've got some professional background, and so do many others here. And I'm well aware of the mind/body connection, holistic health, the work of people such as Dr. Andrew Weil, as well as some of the newer research regarding the neurobiology relating to pain.

I fear from your brief description, however, that your article may do those of us with chronic pain more harm than good.

I also wonder why you're not posting any e-mail or willing to identify yourself if this is a legitimate article or research.

Hope this doesn't offend you, but I'll take a pass.


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:42 AM (GMT -6)   
As you wish. I assure you however, that this article is intended to do more good than harm for people, including myself, who are dealing with chronic pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 8/20/2009 2:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I too agree with PA. I am not interested in participating in this post as I am afraid that my story will be misinterpeted and construed as I am maybe over reacting to the pain that I have been dealing with for the past 9 years.

Unfortunately Franky, most of us here have either been burned by those who desire to help or say they do and you probably won't get much response. It's a harsh reality as most CPers have been hurt too many times by professionals who say they only have our best interests in mind and then it turns against us.

It is already hard to get good care.......proper dosage on medications and sympathetic health care professionals without adding too this. I think your intensions are good but I will pass on this for now.

Hope you find the answers you are looking for.

God Bless

What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P

Stella Marie
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 8/20/2009 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with PAlady. In a former life, I use to manage clinical research trials at one the top five major teaching institutions. I am surprised that you are not willing to identify a few of your works and which journals, magazines, and/or periodicals they appeared in. By reading some of your previous works we would have a better idea on whether or not we would care to participate.  I would also be interested is what awards you claim to have won.

Stella Marie

Co-Forum Moderator for Chronic Pain

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, central apnea, collagenous colitis, pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump  & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair


Post Edited (Stella Marie) : 8/20/2009 1:14:28 AM (GMT-6)

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/20/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Franky5,
     Good morning. My name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you. I do hope you are having a nice pleasant day. It is very refreshing to hear of someone trying to attain a greater knowladge of Chronic Pain Patients.
     I was about to respond to your first post... But, then came to your second. One sentence in particular sticks out
" I understand that people with pain are naturally sensitive ab the idea of psychological or personality traits contributing to pain"
    I say it stands out... Here is why.
1. Research "Chronic Pain" in general.
2. Learn the concepts of our pain psychologists.
3. Establish your "online Identity"
I feel it important to have a general knowladge of the subject at hand, before, asking for "personal accounts". ALL of us have psychologists. Healing Well provides many of us with an avenue of "support" after we have finished with pain psychology / biofeedback.
I think many folks would feel more comfortable if there were "knowladge base". Once that has been established thou! I am sure things will move right along. I feel that It is imperative! to understand the mechanics of pain.. and to treat ALL aspects of pain to the best of ones ability.
It was a pleasure to meet you. I do hope you continue on your journey to a better understanding and the treatment of chronic pain & the impact it has on the human soul.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/20/2009 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the thing that's bothering me most is the unfortunate use of terminology in the original post and the fact that every item listed is classified a destructive behavior.

Stoicism is much, much more than just "denying pain and all emotions."

"Catastrophism" isn't even a psychological concept.

Excessive optimism, inflexibility, people pleasing.. none of these are healthy behaviors to begin with and certainly aren't healthy coping mechanisms.

Then you take all of those destructive and unhealthy behaviors and combine them with this belief that chronic pain patients have some inherent negative reaction any suggestion of a mind/body connection.

Frankly, I just can't see anything positive for the chronic pain community coming from an article based in these concepts and beliefs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 8/20/2009 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I too wonder why you don't have an email adress listed.  If I were interested in helping you with your "project" how would I get a hold of you?  And could I verify you in any way?
Rhonda in Mt. Juliet Tn

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/20/2009 10:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I respectfully withdraw my request, as I have met with such suspicion and resistance in this forum, and have made contact with people through other venues who are more than happy to share their stories, insights, and perspectives with me.
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