I think you've been given some good responses, so what I'm about
to add isn't meant to disagree with any of them, just add a perspective that might relate to what your husband may have been reading (tho' of course I don't know what he was reading!).
There is a lot science doesn't know. There's a lot doctors don't know (tho' they may not act like it - lol). I'm wondering if your husband read something relating to what's called the neuroplasticity of the brain.
I'm retired now but used to be a mental health professional. Not in anyway giving you professional advice here, but yes, all these conditions - depression, bi-polar and host of other ailments - can all utilize the same or similar neural pathways. How the nervous system communicates signals throughout the body. Science is learning that certain things actually change the brain, the way the brain perceives something, overtime. That's why some of the scientists now are saying chronic pain is not a symptom but a condition unto itself. Because the brain has been permanently changed by the pain signals it's been receiving for so long, and it now has difficulty interpreting different pain signals. This science is still new and evolving, but in a way can hold some promise for us. Won't go into that now.
But I think the word "exaggerate" isn't accurate, although I can see why your husband may have used it, not quite understanding how sensitive we all are to anything that seems to say we're making up, or exaggerating our pain. What he MAY have been reading is that when someone's brain has been changed by chronic pain (and perhaps other conditions) it may interpret all pain signals as intensely painful, and no longer able to differentiate. I saw a brief presentation once where a doctor who's studying all this was trying to teach an audience by showing the difference between the sensation of a feather on one's arm, and the sensation of a blow torch. And he said in the brains of many chronic pain patients, what feels like a feather to a non-CPP feels like a blow torch to the CPP. But it isn't about
exaggerating. It's the actual way the person is experiencing it, and thus why it's so difficult to understand and treat CP. Am I making any sense?
I hope this helps and doesn't further confuse things!
p.s. BTW bipolar disorder is still poorly understood. There are still only theories about
what starts or causes it, and doctors and therapists just do their best to treat it. And it's a struggle for patients, too, which I'm sure you know.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 2/20/2012 3:35:43 PM (GMT-7)