Comments on
Insecurity, Pain and Depression

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

We often try and highlight the connections between one’s mental health and their physical health complaints, to demonstrate that the two are inseparable. Yet another study has been published to show how our insecurity can even impact something as physical as the feeling of pain.

The …

6 Comments to
Insecurity, Pain and Depression

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. Click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.

  1. As an integrated behavioral therapist in the primary care setting, we try to facilitate the treatment of this exact thing–the mind/body connection. It is good to have burgeoning data to support the movement of treating the body as a whole unit within the primary care setting; where most of the people suffering from such somatic issues present.

  2. Interesting – I can see why they would be curious to see if the condition continues into adulthood. But, what of the question “does it happen in children?”

  3. I grew up in a high-stress family. After years of reflection upon my past it is clear that I was depressed throughout my youth. Insecurity walked hand in hand with my depression. I agree with eastcoast about the need to treat all aspects of the client; sx’s as well as behaviors and thoughts. It is true that pain has been treated with therapies focusing on thought control.

    Living with depression, I have experienced the gambit of somatic responses beginning very early on; pre-teen. I was not diagnosed and treated for depression until age 25. This was after I presented to my doctor for a sinus infection and burst into tears after telling him how stressed out I was at my job. I had no idea I was even depressed at the time. I thought my reaction to stress was how everyone reacted. I don’t even think back then that I knew the symptoms of depression other than thinking you had to try to kill yourself to need help. I have had suicidal thoughts during adolescence and later but didn’t think it was important because I would never actually go through with it. I always hid my depression and dark thoughts from others because I did not want any extra attention. I’m writing today in response to a statement made in this article that questions the validity of one’s pain, ie. someone wanting sympathy. Yes, there are indeed people who lie about pain or injuries or illnesses to get sypmathy, attention, monetary gain, etc. I’m not disputing that. The point I am trying to make is this: by making this statement in this particular article, some people may generalize that people who are depressed and complain of pain are making it up for sympathy. People who have never experienced what we go through have a hard enough time understanding why we can’t just snap out of it so I hope you see why I’m concerned. I can assure you and every other person who’s lived with depression can also vouch that although there may not be a medical reason in your pain, you do certainly feel it. Maybe someone should post an article about illnesses that do exhibit attention-seeking behavior. No doubt it would be interesting and I’m sure would elicit a good discussion afterwards. But, in this article, I fear there is a risk of certain readers confusing people who malinger with people who have a hightened sensitivity to stimuli due to their emotional state. I might add that I have not developed hypochondriasis either; and also note the need to define this condition. Again, I feel that assumptions may be made due to the lack of differentiation between these diagnoses that often involve reports of pain.

    I thank you for the information on linking insecurity to depression and pain. This is more proof that the treatment of mental illness should incorporate more than just medicine. Just please be careful when using psychiatric terms in addressing a mixed audience. Not all readers have experience with DSM definitions. I have treated so many people that say they are antisocial because they “don’t like to be around a lot of people.”

    • why do i go into depression when in a strange place. how can this be treated?

  4. It looks like they evaluated the kids’ mental and emotional complaints with a questionnaire only– it seems like a simpler explanation might be that some kids are more likely to exaggerate (or are more comfortable expressing) both physical AND emotional pain. Maybe the causation even goes the other way: kids with frequent physical pain are more “alarmist” about the potential insecurity of their relationships. It doesn’t sound like there’s any way to tell from this study.

  5. I agree. I remember learning that in certain cultures the physical manifestation of a psychological problem is what receives treatment. If that is the case then it suggests that we learn from our families what is acceptable for us to express, and what is acceptable to remedy the problem. I believe that this does not conflict with the insecure attachment history mentioned in the article.

Join the Conversation!

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines.

Post a Comment:


(Required, will be published)

(Required, but will not be published)

(Optional)

Recent Comments
  • K: Great article! I have found this to be so true…and wish I’d realized it years ago. Love the canoe...
  • Archie G.: One weakness of this widely reported study is that defines masturbation and intercourse poorly and...
  • Dr. Sam: Got his book! As a contributor on topics such as Narcissism, I have always thought that Narcissists go on...
  • Jennifer: I just bailed out on a volunteer activity I had committed to because I didn’t want to do it to begin...
  • Lisa Tibbitts: I am concerned because this article is meant to be educating from a reliable psychologically based...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 8258
Join Us Now!