ON THE NEXUS OF CHRONIC PAIN, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS, AND ALEXITHYMIA
Keywords: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Pain, Alexithymia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
AbstractChronic pain, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Alexithymia are commonly co-occurring disorders which interact in such a manner that each exacerbates the symptomology of the other. The cyclical nature of co-morbid chronic pain and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms (i.e., chronic pain reigniting trauma symptoms and trauma symptoms manifesting somatically to increase pain), coupled with the communication and emotion insight impairments associated with Alexithymia, often leads to increased complications. However, the interaction between these diagnoses is often overlooked by treating health care and behavioral health practitioners and there is a dearth of research regarding efficacious treatment. This article explores the relationship between these disorders, their interaction, and hypothesizes treatment interventions that address the unique needs of these patients.
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