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Saturday, November 24, 2012


"For centuries, many people believed women turned to prostitution because they suffered from a genetic defect." *

I received a reply to my last post from someone I know from another site.  He believes that chronic pain is the result of childhood emotional trauma.  His position is that it is not in the body but only in the mind.

I thought about his reply and the response in context with the post itself.

The doctor who spoke at the trigeminal neuralgia support meeting I referenced in my last post, was not trying to sell us nutritional supplements or a regimen.  That almost made it a little odder to me: he had nothing to sell but his belief that trigeminal neuralgia, and I am assuming (purely my speculation) other chronic pain disorders, will be bettered, if not cured,  by taking large amounts of supplements.  Some chronic pain may respond well to added nutrition, giving more energy, feeding the cells to help them replenish and recover for instance.  That might help the pain by strenghtening the body.  True trigeminal neuralgia does not work that way.

This is the problem of chronic pain.

People with degrees or practices have beliefs they conclude is the answer.  They do not consider the repercussions for patients/clients.

When I read the the quote about prostitution it seemed to be the same type of claim.  If there is no answer available you cling to the easiest, regardless of the truth of the problem, whether social, as with prostitution, or medical, as with chronic pain disorders.

Many of us have had doctors, despite outright proof of the what and why of our pain, still say "It is psychological."

These doctors and clinicians do not understand chronic pain or the pain disorders we bring to them.  They resort instead to a shrugging of the shoulders combined with an inability to say "I don't know."   By saying it is emotional or psychological they get to feel they have discharged their duty as a doctor or therapist - 'I gave her a reason for her complaints'.

I put this explanation into the same basket as 'you just need to deal with your pain through nutrition and supplements."

Neither has any basis in reality.  There are no studies that prove better nutrition and megadoses of vitamins and minerals are an antidote.  There are no studies that prove chronic pain is solely an emotional problem, or as the commenter wrote "Pain is a process of the mind following childhood emotional traumas, treatment resistant Pain is never in the body and the reason why it is so poorly understood and treated."

People with CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome) for instance, don't have bruises, swellings, and discolorations as a result of repressed or active issues with childhood trauma.  My problem, trigeminal neuralgia, has specificity to the way the pain occurs, how it starts, what triggers it,etc.  These are all replicable among trigeminal neuralgia patients.  If it was an issue of emotional trauma the signs and symptoms would not be consistent among the patient group.

To say that those in chronic pain would benefit greatly by supplementation or are suffering because of emotional trauma is no different then saying to someone with diabetes "It is all in your head.  Deal with your emotional baggage from your youth, take these supplements.  Your pancreas and sugar levels have nothing to do with it.'

Prostitution turned out to be a social disorder, maybe even an active decision - no matter how sad.  The genetic "cause" was thrown away a long time ago.  Trigeminal neuralgia has been known to be neurologically based for decades and first identified in 1773.**  CRSP has been accepted as a physical disorder since the 1700's.*** 

Those who suffer from Lupus, M.S., rheumatoid arthritis, CRPS, trigeminal and other neuralgias, other chronic pain disorders or diseases that have chronic pain as a main or major component deserve the same legitimacy.

*Cornwell, Patricia, PORTRAIT OF A KILLER, Berkley True Crime, NY. 2002.


  1. I believe the psychological answer is always there when nothing else is none. But we should never stop with that. That is just settling. Its a cop out. We need to always strive to find more answers. Once we settle, there are no more answers. Once a doctor told me there was nothing more he could do for me and i was going to be like this until i die and i will always be on my medication, i found a new doctor. I look for the person who can help me not the one who reach his limit. I no longer take all those meds. For the most part, my problem has all gone away. Great article!!!!

  2. Psychiatrists and Psychologist as well, all seem to have opinions, which they obviously believe are answers, to what pain is or isn't. I think they are out of their league. Then too, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after an extensive interview about my childhood, which has always left me wondering about that diagnosis. I've had three positive tests for autoimmune disease, but the last specialist I saw said that since the tests came from different labs, she would ignore them.

    Ignorance comes from both sides of the fence; Medical Doctors and people in the 'mental' health field, the latter being the most ignorant.

    Pain is not always visible or even explainable.

  3. Hi Dogkisses,That is the problem with it, esp something like fibro where there is still controversy as to whether it even exists.
    It is too easy to dismiss pain as not physical because it is invisible.
    I hope this doctor is helping you with the pain.