Intro::Psychological pain


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Psychological pain or mental pain is an unpleasant feeling (a suffering) of a psychological, non-physical, origin. A pioneer in the field of suicidology, Edwin S. Shneidman, described it as "how much you hurt as a human being. It is mental suffering; mental torment."<ref name="Shneidman_1996">Shneidman ES. The Suicidal Mind. Oxford University Press; 1996. Appendix A Psychological Pain Survey. p. 173.</ref> There is no shortage in the many ways psychological pain is referred to, and using a different word usually reflects an emphasis on a particular aspect of mind life. Technical terms include algopsychalia and psychalgia,<ref>Psychalgia: mental distress. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. But see also psychalgia in the sense of psychogenic pain.</ref> but it may also be called mental pain,<ref name="Weiss_1934">Weiss E. Bodily pain and mental pain. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis,. 1934;15:1-13.</ref><ref name="Orbach_2003">Orbach I, Mikulincer M, Gilboa-Schechtman E, Sirota P. Mental pain and its relationship to suicidality and life meaning. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior,. 2003;33(3):231-41. doi:10.1521/suli.</ref> emotional pain,<ref name="Bolger_1999">Bolger EA. Grounded theory analysis of emotional pain. Psychotherapy Research,. 1999;9(3):342-62. doi:10.1080/10503309912331332801.</ref> psychic pain,<ref name="Joffe_1967">Joffe WG, Sandler J. On the concept of pain, with special reference to depression and psychogenic pain. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 1967;11(1):69-75. doi:10.1016/0022-3999(67)90058-X.</ref><ref name="Shattell_2009">Shattell MM. Why does "pain management" exclude psychic pain?. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2009;30(5):344. doi:10.1080/01612840902844890.</ref> social pain,<ref name="macdonald_2005">Macdonald G, Leary MR.. Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin. 2005;131(2):202-23. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.2.202. PMID 15740417.</ref> spiritual or soul pain,<ref>Spiritual pain: 60,000 Google results. Soul pain: 237,000 Google results.</ref> or suffering.<ref name="Morse_2001">Morse JM. Toward a praxis theory of suffering. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science. 2001;24(1):47-59. doi:10.1097/00012272-200109000-00007.</ref><ref name="Rehnsfeldt_2004">Rehnsfeldt A, Eriksson K. The progression of suffering implies alleviated suffering. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. 2004;18(3):264-72. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2004.00281.x.</ref> While these clearly are not equivalent terms, one systematic comparison of theories and models of psychological pain, psychic pain, emotional pain, and suffering concluded that each describe the same profoundly unpleasant feeling.<ref name="meerwijk_2011">Meerwijk EL, Weiss SJ. Toward a unifying definition of psychological pain. Journal of Loss & Trauma. 2011;16(5):402-12. doi:10.1080/15325024.2011.572044.</ref> Psychological pain is believed to be an inescapable aspect of human existence.<ref name="wille_2011">Wille RSG.. On the capacity to endure psychic pain. The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review. 2011;34:23-30. doi:10.1080/01062301.2011.10592880.</ref>

Other descriptions of psychological pain are "a wide range of subjective experiences characterized as an awareness of negative changes in the self and in its functions accompanied by negative feelings",<ref name="Orbach_2003b">Orbach I, Mikulincer M, Sirota P, Gilboa-Schechtman E. Mental pain: A multidimensional operationalization and definition. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 2003;33(3):219-30. doi:10.1521/suli.</ref> "a diffuse subjective experience ... differentiated from physical pain which is often localized and associated with noxious physical stimuli",<ref name="Mee_2006">Mee S, Bunney BG, Reist C, Potkin SG, Bunney WE. Psychological pain: a review of evidence. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2006;40(8):680-90. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2006.03.003.</ref> and "a lasting, unsustainable, and unpleasant feeling resulting from negative appraisal of an inability or deficiency of the self."<ref name="meerwijk_2011" />

Psychological pain sections
Intro  Etiology  Emotional agony in borderline personality disorder  Neural mechanisms  Treatment  See also  References  

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