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“All in your head” isn’t in my vocabulary

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Especially the all part.

Of course I acknowledge the power of the mind to warp and magnify pain and illness — that’s well-established, and I just shared a good example in the last post. But I reject the idea that honest people ever “fake” or “perform” their suffering, consciously or unconsciously.

Objection! Aren’t there “drama queens” who seem to pour emotional gasoline on their chronic pain and illness fires?

Sure. I have met them. And there are probably some extreme cases out there.

But drama that’s actually the main driver of serious disability? The cause? I think that’s rare to the point of barely existing — especially in the absence of other conspicuous signs of mental illness.