Berkshire Institute of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy founded by Ann C. Jorn, Ph.D
Helping people in chronic pain live successfully
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them" Epictetus 55-135 BCE
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What is Chronic Pain
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” The IASP goes on to say that “Pain is always subjective. Each individual learns the application of the word through experiences related to injury in early life...It is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is also always unpleasant and therefore also an emotional experience.” Acute pain is pain that lasts for a short period of time typically under 6 weeks depending upon how long the cause of the episode is expected to heal. Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists or recurs over a period of time beyond 6 weeks after the expected healing time for an acute episode. Pain that goes on longer then the 6 week period should be carefully assessed by your physician.
It is important to understand that not all pain disorders have a clear cause or can be objectively identified such as a herniated disc. Fibromylagia is an example of this, though there is beginning to be found evidence of objective findings with this condition. We know that a history of trauma such as childhood sexual or physical abuse is often found in those that develop chronic pain. This by no means that this history means the pain is made up or just "in your head." Again research is investigating the biological changes in the brain that may be involved in the development of chronic pain in those with a trauma history. In short pain is a very complex process involving numerous biological factors. And this research although greatly advanced over the last 20 years has much still to accomplish.
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The Wakefield Self-Report Questionnaire is scored by adding up the numbers selected for each of the 12 items. Most depressed people score 15 or above on the Wakefield, whereas most non-depressed people score between 0 and 14. It is important to realize that a rating scale such as the Wakefield does not diagnose clinical depression. The Wakefield measures the frequency and intensity of symptoms often associated with depression. Some high scores may be attained by individuals with other emotional problems or physical illnesses. Therefore, use the test as a guide, and consider consulting a doctor for an evaluation if your score is 15 or more.
Scores lower than 15 may still warrant consultation with a doctor if your distress or dysfunction is substantial. Repeating the Wakefield approximately two weeks after its first use may be helpful, and if your score is still below 15 but rising, you should strongly consider consulting a doctor.