Pain Catastrophizing

Pain Catastrophizing

By Angelika Byczkowski.

When does normal concern about relentless pain become excessive and catastrophizing? Who has the power to make this decision?

I’m exasperated and offended by the recent over-promotion and over-simplification of the latest popular theory about chronic pain, which uses the derogatory term “catastrophizing” to describe our well-founded concerns about our pain.

Collectively, pain catastrophizing is characterized by the tendency to magnify the threat value of pain stimulus and to feel helpless in the context of pain, and by a relative inability to inhibit pain-related thoughts in anticipation of, during or following a painful encounter.
(Pain catastrophizing: a critical review; Phillip J Quartana, PhD, Claudia M Campbell, PhD, and Robert R Edwards, PhD | 2009 May)

First, researchers created a list of “catastrophizing” traits in pain patients:

Nine frequently used psychometric scores which measure pain catastrophizing: negative affect, general trait anxiety, depression and anxiety, fear of illness, pain-specific anxiety, fear of pain, fear of negative evaluation and anxiety sensitivity.
(Pain catastrophizing: an updated review | Lawrence Leung | 2012)

Then the researchers ran studies looking for these tendencies in pain patients – and found them. This seems a blatant case of confirmation bias.

When researchers announced their findings that “catastrophizing is related to worsened pain”, the media hype machine went into action and either implied or stated outright that “catastrophizing causes pain”. It seems like the perfect story: it’s an extension of the self-help movement (and victim-blaming) and it fits right in with the cultural imperative to “tough it out” and “don’t be a wimp”.

Angela Byczkowski

No one seems to notice the data from the study shows only that “catastrophizing is correlated with worsened pain.” All this proves is that more pain is more distressing.

Our pain has indeed become a catastrophe as we lose access to the effective pain relief of opioids. Shifting the blame from physical nociception to mental “catastrophizing” confirms what many patients have suspected of our doctors: if they can’t find a physical cause, doctors tend to believe our pain is a psychological problem instead.

The public is more than happy to hear that we’re causing our own pain with our “bad attitude”. Better yet, treatment for catastrophizing requires no opioids, just talk therapy. And best of all, if our pain still does not improve, then it’s our own fault.

The popular media touts the psychological treatment of catastrophizing as a virtual cure for chronic pain. Countless articles explain over and over how we pain patients are worsening (or even causing) our own pain by catastrophizing and we don’t even know it. If only we would stop “catastrophizing”, they say, our pain would be manageable, and we would not need opioids.

Placing the blame for our chronic pain on a “bad attitude” gives everyone license to bludgeon us with accusations of mental weakness or addiction. It allays any guilt for letting pain patients suffer without opioids: if we don’t respond to their suggested psychological treatment, then we are either weak or addicted and it becomes *our* problem. They can wash their hands of us, write us off as hopeless drug-seeking addicts.

Diagnosing patients with intractable pain as “catastrophizing” is an attack on the legitimacy of our pain, an attempt to weasel out of the difficult job of medically treating our pain, and even a ruse to blame us for our own misfortune.

Another study specifically addressed the issue of whether catastrophizing causes pain. Although the healthy participants used for this study cannot substitute for people who have been in pain for years and decades, the study makes an important point:

“We cannot yet rule out the possibility that at least some aspects of catastrophization may actually be the product of an intense pain experience, rather than its cause.

That is, the more intense the pain feels to the person, the more likely they are to have thoughts about it that fit the definition of catastrophization.”

(Quote from full text of study: The causal status of pain catastrophizing: an experimental test with healthy participants. | Severeijns R, van den Hout MA, Vlaeyen JW. | Eur J Pain. 2005 Jun)

According to experts on this topic, I should be able to reduce my pain by having a positive attitude and minimizing catastrophizing. However, looking over the detailed pain, activity, and medication diary I’ve kept for years, I can see that my pain level does not correspond to my levels of distress.

My pain can be low during the worst days of depression and can become crippling on my happiest days. I’ve had to leave or cancel several significant joyous events, like a wedding and a large family gathering, that I’d looked forward to for weeks and months. My pain unpredictably flared on just those days.

I skipped the wedding and went to the reception despite my pain, believing that my happiness and the positive energy of the crowd would surely ease my perception of pain. But standing or sitting around was killing my low back and a little bit of dancing set off my mysterious and excruciating visceral pain. An hour later I had to concede defeat and go back home.

People want to believe that chronic pain is an attitude issue and congratulate themselves for not being the fearful worriers they assume we are. They don’t want to know that even the “best” attitude cannot protect them and, even more frighteningly:

Chronic pain can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere… even YOU.

Feeling fearful or distressed can certainly make any pain more noticeable and “uncomfortable”, but even the best attitude, the strongest will, and the greatest courage provide no guarantee of relief from chronic pain.

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Authored by: Angelika Byczkowski

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Donna Hill

Best article I have read on this subject. Really well done and so very accurate.

Cynthia Knutson

Barbara, I totally agree with you how these people are SO OMG Opiates! NO WAY! Yes they could have anything happen to them & then they, yes they would be SCREAMING for opiates and finally understand…but not until then can they or will they even TRY, sorry to say…it’s all about money, I read exactly how it’s happening & agree with it on another site it’s scary what Trump said about people being “addicted after a WEEK in the hospital!” I AM HORRIFIED AT HIM. I voted for him! GRRRR! I am absolutely inconsolable about his attitude I NEVER thought he could be that uncaring *long sigh* Sean, you must NOT have chronic pain if you can say that about opiates then you really are clueless about WHY this is such a big deal to those of us already being tapered/suffering. THEY are the only thing that works on my pain & I have done/taken many things including accupuncture and TENS they do not help enough for me to “do” my life in pain I can deal with and I am SICK of pain pain pain! have an ACUTE issue going on right now that they (the DEA) do NOT know about because it’s hard to get into UCSF. I have some kind of blockage going on in my urostomy/illeal conduit and look 6 months pregnant. This baby hurts, it does not kick lightly lol but not lol. I got lucky & have an appt on Oct 9.
I just read Medicare patients won’t have their pain meds (or was it ANY “controlled” substances?) paid for I believe very soon so I told my pain managemt Dr that I LOVE & have seen for the last 15 yrs, spotless record/random drug screens.
Plus I have to do something I do not like to do in order to get my meds because of what chronic pain does to a marriage-and mine is in trouble I don’t quite know what to do esp if Medicare yanks covering me and/or my Methadone, because our nice gov’t made Methadone HELL to come off of! They KNEW what they were doing I don’t know if y’all know that drug settles in your fat cells? And it comes out with withdrawals at anytime kind of like having malaria? What a NIGHTMARE the gift that keeps on giving thanks gov’t.
I feel HOPELESS about Methadone sometimes. And my marriage,I keep giving him opportunities for me to trust him but I cannot and have nowhere to go what do you do when you’re screwed & your family could care less if you are on the
streets? I am SO scared and so tired of hurting can’t sleep #PainWarriorsUnite


I’ve heard this many times. It’s beyond hurtful. Thank you so much for this article.

Frances B. Hunt

Thank you for being the “voice of many” (including myself).

A chronic pain patient speaks

Thank you to everyone who is trying to fight this horrible trend which is leaving chronic pain patients withering in pain and worse!


To think that somehow we have caused our own degenerative condition such as inherited defectjve genetics sounds like a person believes that have a mental disorder themself.


Obvious Sean Ryan has never experienced chronic pain and until you do, please, don’t tell me that opioids don’t work for long term treatment of chronic pain.
I’ve used them (opioids), for over 20yrs now, and they have allowed me a quality of life no other treatment has given me for this long a duration. Forgive me, but it is people just like you who put those of us who need these medications in a bad light; as if to say “you all don’t know what you’re talking about like I do”.
I know my body, and the medications I use better than most doctors. I’ve done more research, studies, and taken more time, done more treatment programs than are even accepted into most insurance HMO’s.
There, I’ve said it. Forgive me, Sean, but you just happened to be the one who finally got my last nerve. I’m so tired of people who haven’t gone thru what I have, telling me what I can and cannot do. There is only One who can do that, and He is God Himself.
I’ll shut up now.


Wanted to express that pets ,are perhaps getting better pain treatment due to the fact they cannot communicate verbally on how much pain they are in ,it is a visual examination that can’t be misconstrued as an acting job to procure medication illicetly . If we are leaving pain level conveyance to psychryatric examination,God help us all……..


Wow, gave a speech at the Harrisburg pain rally on Wednesday.pretty much in sync with your article, well put , I hope the situation is up for some changes they have to realize how inhumane they are treating people with legitimate pain, pets at Veteranry clinics a getting far superior pain control than pain patients are.At least our animals are not in human misery.


This is just another attack on chronic pain patients. We know how bad our pain is. Having a good attitude is life but in dealing with unrelenting pain 24/7, not so much. Not being honest and downplaying it serves no one. These anti opiate people are 1 step away from an accident or a disease that could completely alter their lives forever. They need to think about that. God Bless

Sean Ryan

I think there is a pretty significant misunderstanding of the notion of the role of pain catastrophizing in the development and persistence of chronic pain on the part of the author. I’m going to say that they are largely right in that a good attitude isn’t going to just make chronic pain go away. What is lost here is the understanding of the central nervous system’s regulation of pain. Psychological treatment of pain is one aspect of a multi faceted approach to treating chronic pain. As with most societal movements that are moving in the right direction, sometimes the wrong information muddy’s the water a bit and creates a situation where the ideas are misrepresented. I empathize with the writers pain and some of the comments ring true about how the newer research in pain science is wielded irresponsibly. Make no mistake though, the central nervous system has an incredible role in the regulation of pain, and as such must be a large target of our efforts to push back pain without using opioids. Opiods are a powerful weapon for acute pain and end of life (terminal) pain, but they are largely ineffective for solving chronic pain. They also carry much larger risks than conservative measures that the research indicates in chronic pain treatment.

Annie ominous

I would give anything to not wake up in immense pain each day. To not constantly live with the fear of whether or not my meds will be taken from me. Without them I cannot work on my feet everyday. I am currently working full time and in school full time in hopes if finding a suitable career that will allow me to support my two kids (single parent with zero help) and be less hard on me physically. Bit for now this is all I have, and there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, osteo arthritis or the degeneration in my lower back. I have endured countless injections, chiropractic treatments, physical therapy etc… The meds enable me to have a quality of life. I endured this pain for 6 years before finally getting someone to pay attention and now that I have something that works … They want to take it away? I pay for my insurance and my medication. Why does anyone have the right to tell me I cannot have it?
To me it appears that the government is intending to push people into illegal drug use so they can incarcerate them for profit and/or intending to push people into a corner where they see suicide as the only way out. I use my medication as directed. All within legal limits. I work my ass off to pay for my health insurance, dr visits, and the medication that isnt even covered. So why am I going to be punished? Go after the real drug abusers.

Stacy Cooper

Great article, I was denied Social Security after more than four years because the judge believed this [edit] and actually verbalized it in her decision. I’m the problem and I choose to be in pain.

Annette Croy

BRAVO!! Very well written, timely article. I’ve noticed catastrophizing being thrown around wrecklessly, just as the word hysterical was in the 50s and 60s. What’s worse is, you are immediately slapped with that label when you get upset at your Doctor for NOT LISTENING to you at your 20th or 30th five minute appointment.

Sally Arany

Bravo, amen, well said. Thank you, Angelika.

Molly Canfield

I’d like to see the “healthy” critics last a week…no, 24 hours dealing with our levels of pain using only techniques such as mindfulness and pain acceptance then try not to catastrophize! Poorly designed studies such as these, using healthy subjects!, fits right into the narrative allowing society to blame us for our pain. Many years ago a neurologist told me, after informing me that he would not treat my migraine with any sort of pain relieving medication , that “Pain never killed anybody.” just brings all of this back to the surface and makes me absolutely furious. Of course I suppose that could also be another factor which makes my pain worse and is also my fault not controlling my anger makes my pain worse at the time I was too young to realize what a cruel thing this was to suggest to a young person in the throes of a debilitating migraine. Why in the world was he a neurologist in the first place, if not to treat people who were suffering?!?! I told my mother about this many years later and she said, “You should have kicked him in the crotch and told him Well, that didn’t kill you did it?”


Well stated, Angela. Thank you!

Marion Knight

Can anyone please tell me why my daughters cronic pain is being lumped together with those who make the choice to abuse opioids? Please! She didn’t ask for the conditions she has, she had no choice in the matter. But others in this country are questioning her licensed physicians treatment option for her. Why? He has been trained, we don’t question other medical decisions in this country. This is not an opioid crisis. The crisis is for addicts to continue to abuse drugs that are not prescribed to them. Sorry but not my problem. But it’s now her problem as her medications legally prescribed got her are now at the mercy of groups of people who don’t have the illnesses, don’t have the choice about whether they can get out of bed or not, don’t have the luxury of living a normal life. This is an outrage!

Tanner Volz

Warnings about “catastrophizing” are simply gaslighting under a new euphemism. I’ve had 2 pain psychologists practice this tactic on me, it is transparently dismissive and cruel.


Thank you Angela …this is a great article.

“According to experts on this topic, I should be able to reduce my pain by having a positive attitude and minimizing catastrophizing”

What a joke huh? I am usually a happy person, joking and kidding around a lot. I can be in pretty bad pain and still have that sense of humor. So they are dead WRONG!


Great article. This newest iteration of “blame the victim” has me foaming at the mouth; not from catastrophizing, but from rage. It’s like some sort of contest; who can come up with the latest version of “why it’s all the pain patient’s fault, and they don’t have ‘real’ pain anyway; they’re causing it by catastrophizing/not eating right/not thinking right” etc etc ad literal nauseum. I’ve been dealing with the whole issue of it’s all my fault my entire adult life, with intractable migraines. I’ve been told by actual neurologists that migraines don’t exist in any physical form, it’s merely my own psychological need to be useless and lazy afraid, and if I just took hold of my attitude I’d be fine.

The Church of No Pain Medicine is endlessly inventive and has serious problems with the entire concepts of correlation & cause/effect; they always know which way the arrow flies; it flies in the direction of wherever blaming the patient lies. i’m waiting for them to deduce that hospitals have to go because there’s an amazing percentage of sick people in them, therefore hospitals cause sickness. Or doing away with handicapped parking, because a lot of people who use it have physical problems, so clearly handicapped spaces cause physical debility. If those people only had the proper attitude, they wouldn’t be sick or disabled.

I used to be a decent person, but have changed. I fervently hope every one of these vindictive morons develop permanent, agonizing conditions and are denied pain relief. Let ’em improve their attitudes and get better then.

Angelika just hit on something profound. Way back in 1940, C.S. Lewis wrote a very short book, “The Abolition of Man”, which took exception to a common belief that emotions have no rational explanation. If an outside authority had the power to dictate whose emotions were to be taken seriously by everyone, and whose were not, individuality would be destroyed, argued Professor Lewis. I finally read the book, after having viewed a Nat Geo documentary on the Hitler Youth and their monthlong losing battle with Allied troops, while adult Nazi leaders loaded aboard U-boats and fled to South America. What was shocking about the Hitler Youth story, was the interviews with survivors, who held to a childlike belief that they would win the war that adults had already lost…and the fact that any of the child soldiers who deviated from that belief would be shot by firing squads, for having bad attitudes! Lewis’ book seemed prophetic to me, about the war that unfolded in Europe over the next five years, for the Nazi effort to impose emotional conformity ended up killing much of Germany’s population alongside millions of their neighbors.

People do not have control of their thoughts and emotions. Infants catastrophize and cry, because as infants, we lack skills for self-help. Adults rarely collapse in complete fear, because we’ve learned survival skills and we have friends we can ask for help.

Can outlawing necessary medicines reduce rational adults to infantile emotional collapse?

Absolutely. And it can kill us, too.

Susan L

Another great article, thank you!

It fundamentally chaps my hide that fully-grown, generally responsible, otherwise-capable adults must grovel (sometimes wearing only a ridiculous paper gown) before a third-party “expert” while hoping like hell we’ve adequately described our pain (but knowing we probably haven’t) in order to (maybe-but-probably-won’t) have our DEBILITATING pain adequately addressed. This system FORCES the “patient” into a subservient position (and we PAY to be there!), a position in which the smartest and most desperate (and often the most successful) will probably need to utilize a variety of underhanded tactics such as exaggeration of symptoms, attempted emotional manipulation of the doctor, and outright lying. Most of us are not deceptive by nature, I’d wager; rather, it’s how the stupid game was designed.

Put another way: the only way for most of us to *legally* obtain certain pain-relieving substances is to somehow convince a doctor (who is sometimes a perfect stranger) that we NEED it. And we DO know what we need, especially if this isn’t our first rodeo. So why does the law place us in the position of having to convince a doctor (or multiple docs) to concur with what we ALREADY KNOW in order to (maybe) get what we need?

Doctors are the world’s most inefficient drug dealers. They are the true “middlemen” of the world. Street dealers (who never require expensive referrals or long wait times) offer a “one stop shop” to their customers…and allow their customers the courtesy of determining how much product they want to buy, choose their own dose and frequency of dosing. (Imagine that!). If only they would work on the standardization and purity issues…


Wow. I do not wish pain on anyone, but these people would IMMEDIATELY change their minds if they had to live with the kind of daily pain chronic pain patients deal with. Should pain patients do their best to stay positive, try not to ‘catastrophize’ their pain? You bet, but that can not, and should not, be the only way. I guess they think physical disorders that cause pain are entirely different. Otherwise, we all could just use our minds to cure every disease with only a positive attitude! Yeah, right.

Jim Moulton

I don’t know,is this person saying anxiety causes more pain. I see more anti pain pt articles recently.


It is absolutely ridiculous but, understandable that a non pain management person believes that continuous, severe pain is “simply” an attitude issue. Fortunate (for now) non pain management patients truly believe that we, people with severe, continuous, lifetime pain management issues, just lack will power. We are weak and can not “handle” pain.
Acute pain that will eventually stop and continuous, severe, lifetime pain are two totally different animals. They believe that if we just put on a happy face and a pleasant disposition, the pain would magically just….go away.
I wish I could have gotten “Spock”, Captain Kirk’s first officer to teach me the Vulcan “mind meld” and mesh with the people that believe my attitude can help manage pain from in my case, two vertebra fusion surgeries. As for the Vulcan mind meld for those who are Star Trek fans, I would love to ” mind meld” with all of the the “attitude adjustment” believers as well as my own doctor but, I am sure that just a few minutes of a mind meld of feeling how I and all other lifetime pain management patients feel on a continuous basis, would still not convince the “better attitude” believers that managing lifetime pain is as simple as making an attitude adjustment and having a pleasant disposition to ease severe pain. It would take a mind meld causing the attitude adjusters to believe that the pain is for ……life, and if the attitude adjusters believed that the pain IS continuous, debilitating, and for life, they would most definitely realize that continuous, very severe pain can not just be placed on a back burner .in the mind and simply go on with a “normal” life.
The fear I have though, even if I could perform the Vulcan mind meld is that even after a non pain management person was free of the mind meld, they would be glad that they personally do not have to experience continuous , lifetime, un manageable pain and once again, pain management patients would be forgotten, dismissed, and we would be out of mind…..once again.Live long and prosper?

Lori T.

Amen! I love your post. Thank you for having the courage to speak out on this very important topic.

I hate to say it but these so called experts in the field of their studies, obviously have never even had a tooth ache let alone debilitating pain with numerous conditions. It has become apparent that the media has construed the argument of opioid use certainly to the negative of people that really need them to at least survive every day.

We, the people who battle pain daily have a continuous fight against the conglomerates of deceit.

I applaud the great efforts by pain individuals that keep fighting!!

Alice Carroll

This is such bull I hate even to give it credence by discussing it. When a close friend of mine contracted cancer he was told that he just needed to think positively and he would be cured and that he just didn’t think positively enough and that’s why he contracted cancer in the first place. This is the same old “Blame the Patient” game that has been perpetrated for years. It is a way to write off those who are ill and a way to try to justify not having Universal Health Care in the US because, “Why should I pay for someone whose illness is their own fault?”

In my many years I have seen the falsehood of this thinking and the damage that it does. My cousin’s wife, a triathlete and trainer who strictly watched everything she consumed and was in excellent shape contracts ALS and is dead in less than 2 years. While my drinking, pot-smoking neighbors just go right on living! Illness is random. Thinking one way or another has no bearing on the progression of a disease it just makes you more or less pleasant to be around. I’m sure we’ve all seen an old person who seems obsessed with every ache and pain while others with their sunny disposition have a heart attack and die. Random.

People who push this theory want so badly to believe that they have control over if and when they will fall ill and if and when they will die. Pushing these beliefs on the sick is just cruel, it makes them feel guilty for feeling badly. Like it or not, the world just doesn’t work this way. When we live and when we die are mysteries of life and part of the human condition.

Cheri Furr

I’m sick of it too. people with an MA or Ph.D are NOT medical doctors, and excessive pain IS a catastrophe! I only wish some of the people running these studies and making these ridiculous conclusions could feel the pain WE do! I did not have to go home from my own daughter’s wedding from hysteria that CAUSED my pain!


Wow. Its amazing all these “study’s” that keep coming out. Not just on pain. There was a “study” that eggs are bad and cause high cholesterol, the next “study” said no it didn’t! The same for drinking wine, eating red meat and so on. I tried EVERYTHING for my RDS before opioids because I came from the philosophy of “break a leg? Walk it off!” ALL tried BEFORE opioids: acupuncture, water therapy, sand therapy, physical therapy, nerve shots, music therapy, pychotherapy, chanting, meditating, 3 dorsal column stimulators, and my personal favorite ( that wiped out my 401k plan) Nerve Reset Therapy (you’re supposed to get numbed from your waste down to reset your nerves “like a computer”). Until I was bed bound. MY therapist said it was time to try an opioid. I may still make myself feel guilty but I will be damned if someone who has not gone though what I went through to try to make me feel guilty. I would prefer a cure but there isn’t one. Study’s and Research on Cures for our chronic pain is what’s needed not more study’s on how we MUST be drug addicts. These kinds of people should pray they NEVER have to go through this AND then be persecuted for it.


This is an excellent article that captures some of the sense of downright horror chronic pain patients are experiencing with the prejudicial manner in which our suffering, and often desperate attempts to ease it, is dismissed by ignorant, self-righteous, hypocritical members of the “medical” community.


My spouse has lived with extreme chronic pain since receiving chemo for rare cancer, multiple myeloma in 2011. Has been on the same schedule, same dose, same number of pills (oxycontin) for 7 years. Pain described as inflicting a thousands of paper cuts on hands and feet/lower legs at the same time. Has tried many non opioid options without success. Oncologist says the chemo used for this rare type of cancer damages the nerves (side effect) of the hands and feet. My spouse has been unable to work because of the constant pain. The most recent prescription required the Oncologist required a urine sample and sign a statement similar to what drug abuser would sign that they are not abusing drugs. A “one shoe fits all” approach to this problem needs an appropriate response that takes into consideration the legitimate use of long term opioids use for cancer patients.


Yep. Studies are what they want them to be.

Alanna Wilgus

Could it also be possible that people under a lot of stress could have comorbidities (like adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) which can also cause pain!


Great insight! This is a keeper for sure from now on!

One analogy would go something like this –

You are set on literal fire. As the flames burn you, does your attitude affect the pain you’re feeling from being burned up? I suppose there are some who would reach the ever-so-lame conclusion that having a good, positive or happy attitude makes that kind of pain more tolerable too.

Even if it’s one in a million, they will hang their hat on that ONE.

John Quintner

I am with you all the way about this topic. In my opinion, the idea of “catastrophisation” is yet another stigmatising contribution from behavioural psychology to pain medicine. It is as potentially damaging to pain sufferers as the now discredited idea of “somatisation”.

Of course a psychiatrist is going to say this. They get paid to talk, paid to try to convince people that their feelings aren’t true, aren’t right. They get paid to make others feel just the opposite of the way they truly do. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have a job, now would they? In my day I’ve been forced to see more than one. I’m one of those people that feel as though I’ve got more common sense in my little toe than some people have in their entire bodies. The psychiatrist that I have seen and met, let me tell you if anybody ever needed to see one; it’s them. I’m sorry but to me they seem like they’re nutty, to puy it nicely. Perhaps out there somewhere there’s one that may seem downright human but as far as I’m concerned I’ve yet to meet one. I’ve heard others talk about them also how they seem odd, downright peculiar at that. They force their opinions on you and let me tell you if you don’t sit there and agree with them you’re in trouble. Even if it sounds ridiculous you sit there and feel as though you’re forced to agree with them, no matter how ridiculous they may sound. The good Lord above has always been my psychiatrist so to speak. I don’t like talking to complete strangers about my life. Especially when they want twist and turn your feelings into their way of doing things, for their way of doing things always seem spot-on, most certainly not yours. That seems to be the whole reason why you’re there in the first place, talk therapy. You talk, they look at you like you’re crazy then they tell you their opinion and you’re supposed to agree 110 percent, no matter how ridiculous their answers to “your life” truly are!


Good article – excellent point! No one except chronic pain patients really understand chronic pain. That seems a broad statement, but if you use the McGill Pain Scale, how can a person – or even a doctor grasp the pain of CRPS (for example). In stage 2 CRPS the pain is listed as the worst pain there is, equally as bad or worse than having a part of your body amputated without anesthetic. How does someone who is not in that pain level grasp how bad it is? Pain is relative, by that I mean that what is horrible to one person may have been a broken bone which hurt for a few days, or child birth – again a couple days at worst. How can a person grasp the intensity of pain that is about twice childbirth? They can’t. So in an effort to wrap their collective heads around something about which they have no clue – they say it must be psychological. I mean after all, it can’t hurt that much, I cannot comprehend that pain could be that bad. Therefore the pain patient must be catastrophising.
There are lots of things in this world that people don’t understand, but it is only the intangible that they say is in your head – because, really, it can’t be that bad. STUPID!

Johnny Brown

Thanks for the read, this article is absolutely correct ! The best thing I’ve read about the public brain numb sit wits on the band wagon , talking about something they know absolutely nothing of…


Amen, sister. Couldn’t have said, felt, nor even catastrophized my pain any better! I couldn’t even spell that word, let alone conceived in my mind to let it be the manager of my pain!
One thought: doctors have a profession they call a “practice” because they can never be a perfectionist at their career. They have to practice because they do not know everything. They practice just like you and I because they don’t know any more about medicine than anyone else who does their own research.
And no one but God himself knows our bodies better than we know ourselves.
It all comes down to the abuser of the opioids in our society today that is causing us our biggest grief. The lies they tell sound like our truth we say today, and then they go and harm themselves, and worse, someone else. That to me is a catastrophized pain.

C j parkes

Best study iv read in years no one wants to over worry but it’s natural especially if pain has been with one long term no one wants to take Meds either but all this new age stuff is ott if u read any or all of it at the end of a post someone is trying to sell you something a book a CD or Meds of some sort iv tried a few no more it’s a waste of time I’ll be guided by my excellent gp