Cutting Edge Psychology

More young people in chronic pain

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Research is clearing showing that the rate of chronic pain in our culture continues to rise. New sufferers are being recruited to the swelling ranks on a daily basis as we continue to fail children and young people and those in chronic pain. Rather than treating the human orgnaism as a clever colleciton of nuts and bolts, we need to begin asking the question 'What is going wrong in so many children and young people's lives that they are responding with increasing rates of chronic pain?'. Clearly, we are failing the next generation, and increasing rates of chronic pain is evidence of this.

In the last 20 years, Western culture has undergone an even more radical emphasis on material wealth- Australian economist Clive Hamilton referred to it as 'Affluenza' in his brilliant book of the same title. We seem to have forgotten what actually matters to children- the love and attention (which requires time) of their primary care givers. This cannot be outsourced to paid care givers, regardless of how attentive and loving they are. Humans are 'wired' by nature to attach to our primary care givers. When this is disrupted by outsourcing the child raising role to others, the children suffer emotionally.Their social skills may be great; their confidence may be great, and so might their intellect. But their emotional world is one of loss and grief (unexpressed with words), which needs to be driven 'under-ground', into the depths of their unconscious. We are seeing this unspoken distress being manifested as chronic pain. The greater the amount of distressed kids, the greater the rate of chronic pain. And all this is in service of larger houses, more expensive cars, newer clothes, better appliances in the home, bigger TV screens, and a computer in every room. The genuine and deeply embedded emotional needs are swamped with a tzunami of things, but they are never washed away. The needs remain there, and the pain associated with the needs not being met remains there. Where our culture does not give children the permission, or even the language to comment on how it feels to them to be made less important than material things, then their psyche finds a way of expressing it via their physical experience.

None of this makes any sense at all to the prevailing mechanistic explanations of chronic pain, which will flounder from one dodgy explanation to another til the cows come home.

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Reply tareitum
12:22 AM on January 31, 2022 
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