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Article about pain

I expect this UPI article will be all over my reading list but I have to put in my own pocket change before I even go look.

It's annoying that they are being all gender-essentialist about it, but if they're going to be that way, it's good that they are acknowledging that women feel more pain, because usually women's pain is downplayed and ignored.

But then they manage to downplay it anyway. "Let's treat the emotions." Let's get a woman living with pain to say "it's all about just not caring whether you have pain." And not once is it mentioned that maybe we should believe women who have pain, and give them pain medicines to manage their pain.

"Pain different for women, men"
ATLANTA, Aug. 13 (UPI)
(Full article quoted. Emphasis mine.)
Chronic pain is more intense and
lasts longer for women than men and a higher proportion of women
suffer from diseases that bring such pain, doctors say.
Jennifer Kelly of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine
in Georgia says women have more recurrent pain and more disabilities
from pain-causing illnesses such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid
arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, CNN reported Friday.
Hormones could be one reason women bear this burden of pain,
Kelly said, noting the menstrual cycle can be associated with
changes in discomfort among women with chronic pain.
Pain also can have long-lasting consequences, studies show.
Women who suffer menstrual cramps have significant brain structure
changes compared with women who don't, one study found, while other
studies have revealed abnormal brain structure changes in people
with disorders such as chronic back pain and irritable bowel
syndrome.
Women tend to focus on pain on an emotional level, worrying
about how it will affect their responsibilities, whereas men focus
on the sensory aspect, Kelly said, urging doctors to help women deal
with negative thoughts
that can make a painful situation worse.
One woman who suffers from arthritic conditions agrees
patients with chronic pain need help changing their mind-set about
pain.
"Part of what helped me was switching out the model in which
I had to be pain free to be happy," Melanie Thernstrom says.
"Realizing I can have some pain, just like it can be raining outside
and I can be happy
-- it's all a matter of what level the pain is
at."


This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/685615.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
loracs
Aug. 14th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
This article gives a headache. Maybe if I can just think more like a man, then this mind splitting headache will hurt less. Yep, that's the ticket - NOT!
nisi_la
Aug. 14th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Diagnosed with fibro eight years ago, and whaddyaknow, I got depressed at the thought that I had an uncurable medical condition promising me pain for the rest of my life. Doctor prescribed prozac. Not pain meds. No, that would be too dangerous. Might lead to dependency or addiction.
mjlayman
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Lyrica is being advertised for fibro -- you should know that it's $700/month.
nisi_la
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the thought. But Lyrica=40% success rate, and "side effects" to boot.

I'm actually having some success allaying pain with exercise and changes in diet. Also trying different thyroid meds. And I got some pain meds from a dentist for back-up.
e4q
Aug. 16th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
in the uk cost is less of an issue, although not if you want to take supplements, and i do take lyrica, but i can only take a third of the recommended dose because the tinnitus i get as a side effect ends up being somehow worse than pain. i have no idea if the amount i take makes ANY difference. fibro is a cunning enemy, and medication isn't much better. the best thing i did for myself was to get a dog. i may be in as much pain but i am less unwell as a result.
mjlayman
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
I hurt all the time and it's impossible not to have some parts hurt more than others at times. I just take pain meds for the big pains.
cakmpls
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Women tend to focus on pain on an emotional level, worrying
about how it will affect their responsibilities, whereas men focus on the sensory aspect


Once again I land on the "male" side of a scale.
firecat
Aug. 15th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
I do both.
e4q
Aug. 16th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
i think most people do both, in reality. the pain management course i trained in treats people of both genders, what becomes clear is that everybody suffers, but it is good to learn some ninja skills for dealing with it. the humbling thing is that there is space for people on the course to tell a bit about their pain, and one woman said it was the first time she had described her pain and not had someone jump in with suggestions for how she should get rid of it.
sashajwolf
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Speaking as someone who has several of the chronic conditions mentioned there, I think both meds and a change in mindset (e.g. via cognitive-behavioural therapy) have a role, and both should be more widely available. I relied mainly on meds for years, but at its worst the pain broke through them, so I had to learn to enjoy life as much as I could despite it - and that stood me in good stead later, when I had to start tapering off the meds because of side effects. If I had my way, medicines would only need a prescription where using them incorrectly has the potential to affect others (as with antibiotics), and therapy would have a much shorter waiting list than it currently does on the NHS in the UK.
firecat
Aug. 15th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I do agree they both have a role. But it angers me that pain meds weren't even mentioned in the article.
e4q
Aug. 16th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
the idea that you can just think yourself better has me reaching for my fictional gun.

just as well we have gun laws here.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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