Somatization & chronic pain in historic perspective

Practitioners today are confronted with an avalanche of difficult to
treat patients with chronic pain for 2 reasons: (1) The
culture increasingly encourages patients to conceive vague
and nonspecific symptoms as evidence of real disease and to
seek specialist help for them; and (2) the rising ascendancy
of the media and the breakdown of the family encourage
patients to acquire the fixed belief that they have a given
illness, often a trendy nondisease such as repetition strain
injury or chronic fatigue syndrome. In historic terms, many
of these complaints, especially sensory ones featuring
chronic pain and chronic fatigue, are relatively new.
Patients tend to adopt them on the basis of what the culture
considers to be legitimate illness, whereby different patterns
exist for men and women.

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