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Attempts to challenge the stigma of chronic pain often fail. Despite arguments from providers and patients alike, stigma remains a persistent problem. 

Published in Stigma

We tend to stigmatize pain because we misunderstand its nature. Specifically, we fail to acknowledge the role that the nervous system plays in producing the experience of pain. If we more fully appreciated this role, we would understand that chronic pain is similar to other health conditions that we don’t stigmatize much, such as high hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure) or type II diabetes.

Published in Self-management

The Institute for Chronic Pain website has a new article on the social stigma of chronic pain. It explains the nature of social stigma and challenges both providers and patients to  take the difficult steps to overcome it.

If it challenges and inspires you, please share it with your network.

Click here to read it.

Author: Murray J. McAllister, PsyD

Date of last modification: 10-26-2013

Published in Stigma

Let’s talk about something that is hard to talk about. It’s the issue of stigma. It’s a sensitive topic.

Published in Stigma
Apr 27, 2012

Social Stigma

What is stigma?

Stigma is the social disapproval of a characteristic of a person and, typically, the characteristic is not changeable or not easily changeable. The disapproval is a critical judgment that an individual is not normal and has less worth than those in the norm. A natural response to stigma is shame and shame-based defensive anger.

Published in What is Chronic Pain
  • Shame and Pain

    Shame is an emotion that we don’t talk about much in pain management. We should, though, because people with persistent pain commonly experience shame in the interactions that they have with healthcare providers, friends and family. What is shame? Shame…
  • What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pain?

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is a traditional form of therapy that is used for a great many types of health conditions. Historically beginning in the 1970’s, it was first used as treatments for chronic pain and depression,1, 2 but later applied to…
  • Why See a Psychologist for Pain?

    People are sometimes surprised that there are psychologists who are not mental health providers. It’s also true for people with persistent pain who might wonder why their physician referred them to a psychologist for the management of pain. ‘I’m not…
  • Whatever Happened to Backache?

    You’d think that we’d all agree on what back pain is. Pain in the low back is almost as common as days of the week. Most everyone has had or will have back pain in the course of their lives…
  • Should the Definition of Opioid Addiction Change?

    Twenty some odd years ago, the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the American Pain Society, two large pain-related professional organizations, teamed up to agree upon what it means to have both chronic pain and be addicted to opioid pain…

    Learn more »»

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