voices in the family

The language of pain



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January 24, 2011 — It’s estimated that one out of every five Americans suffers from chronic pain. That doesn’t include those who experience psychological pain like grief or depression. Pain is invisible and subjective, and it’s always an isolating experience. Regardless of how pain affects an individual, a common frustration is finding words to describe pain – so others can understand it, to validate our experience, and in order to receive the care we need. Dr. Dan Gottlieb explores the isolation of and language of pain with author David Biro and pain researcher Sean Mackey. David Biro is a practicing physician and professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center who survived a life-threatening blood disorder. He’s the author of The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief (Norton 2010). Sean Mackey is Chief of the Division of Pain Management at Stanford University School of Medicine. He’s also the Director of Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab.

Photo by Flickr user Amanda Tipton

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