Psychiatry and Chronic Pain

Although acute pain typically resolves on its own with little need for intervention, for some persons pain persists past the point where it is considered an adaptive reaction to injury.

Anxiety Disorders

Psychodermatology: When the Mind and Skin Interact

Psychodermatology is a relatively new discipline in psychosomatic medicine. It is the interaction between mind and skin. The two disciplines are interconnected at the embryonal level through ectoderm. There is a complex interplay between skin and the neuroendocrine and immune systems.


Suicide: Psychache and Alienation

Psychache (sīk-āk), a neologism coined by suicidologist Edwin Shneidman,1 is unbearable psychological pain—hurt, anguish, soreness, and aching. Shneidman theorized that unresolved psychache results in suicidal behavior.

A New Report on Pain in America: Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

The title of this column comes from a quote often attributed to the great baseball player Yogi Berra. It is used to acknowledge that something that is supposed to be new is in fact very familiar. As I read the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) new report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research,1 I experienced a...

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Basic Principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Although therapy must be tailored to the individual, there are, nevertheless, certain principles that underlie cognitive behavior therapy for all patients. I will use a depressed patient, "Sally," to illustrate these central tenets and to demonstrate how to use cognitive theory to understand patients’ difficulties and how to use...