August 7 2014 Chronic pain

The Institute of Medicine reported that nearly 1/3 of all Americans (116 million) live with chronic pain. Chronic pain can include joint pain, stomach aches and headaches
and the impact it can have on an individual’s day-to-day life cannot be dismissed. Not all chronic pain is related to grieving; however, it does have the ability to present itself
in physical discomfort.

Somaticized grief is a clinical term referring to one’s feelings of grief being converted to physical symptoms. Grief can manifest in physical discomforts. Dr. Alan Wolfelt, of the Centre for Loss and Life Transitions teaches that these discomforts can range from minor aches and pains to major chronic pain and ailments that have no organic basis.  He also teaches that physical discomfort is a normal response on the grief journey; however, when the symptoms become persistent and intense, the person may be 
converting their feelings of sorrow to physical ailments. When this happens, they become so consumed with their problems that they are not able to do the work of grieving and mourning. This then becomes a way to avoid their feelings of grief and signals some concern.

I don’t want to imply this is intentional, because people are doing the best they can under the circumstances and they may not even be aware of how they are converting their sorrow. The danger is that if one avoids their grief indefinitely then reconciliation of their loss is impossible and therefore, the journey never ends.

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