A new study indicates that, surprisingly, men with pain(headaches included) may be more sensitive to their spouses emotions than was previously thought to be the case. When the wife invalidates the person’s pain, via actions such as not accepting the pain, the man suffers from less trust, with less emotional control. Men with pain who have a spouse that “invalidates” their pain show increased hostility and depression. While similar responses are observed in women with pain, the men with the pain exhibited even greater distress and emotional disruption. This may be due to the fact that men in pain, who cannot work, may suffer a greater loss of self esteem, with their traditional role being disrupted. Of course, women with pain suffer greatly as well, and also are sensitive to their spouses reactions. This points out the need for treating the couple, or family, not just the person in pain. This study was recently published in the Journal of Pain, author Laura Leong et. al.
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