Pain is a subject we avoid. We find it uncomfortable and difficult to talk about. This silence is to the detriment of both those who are in pain and those who care for them. In this book, Dr. Rachel Aarons brings the subject of pain out of the shadows. She explores it from all angles.
In part one, you will find an in-depth depiction of how being in severe pain alters the person you are and the world you live in. In this detailed phenomenology of the pain experience, Dr. Aarons gives voice to what has been muffled in silence. She is joined by a medley of voices of pain patients with a range of challenging medical issues. They each share their personal experiences of pain and the hard-won messages they are moved to convey about them.
Part two may be seen as a wake-up call from the perspective of the patient directed to those caregivers - including doctors and nurses - who provide medical care to people in pain. It is offered for the purpose of enhancing their understanding and effectiveness in areas of caregiving that relate not to textbook knowledge but to the personal experience of the patient.
In the crescendo of part three, Dr. Aarons tackles the question of how to live with, reduce, relieve, and even rise above pain. She reviews and evaluates a variety of specific pain management approaches for their usefulness and transformative power.
About Pain promises to deepen and expand both your empathy and your understanding of pain. From a professional and at the same time personal perspective, Dr. Aarons sheds a starkly honest light on a taboo subject that inevitably affects every one of us.
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“About Pain" by Rachel Aarons is a must
I am a psychiatrist/addictionist, and I am also board eligible in neurology. I am a former member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, where I learned to use that arcane and highly effective method to treat acute and chronic pain. Lastly, I am coincidentally a pain sufferer. Having managed innumerable patients who have suffered pain, a host more who have attempted through addiction to avoid it, and finally to experience my own pain through 3 back surgeries and 15 months of at times almost unbearable L4-5 nerve root pain, I think I can speak with authority about Rachel Aaron’s book. I most enjoyed the book because it spoke accurately and comprehensively about the pain condition..
The author seeks to develop our empathy for the suffering of others through dramatized case examples, including her own suffering, making this book a useful textbook for medical students, as well as caregivers. We as caregivers need an understanding of pain and what generates it and have an emotional grasp of its experience, but we need to go further and fathom the mind of the pain sufferer. In other words, we need to have a feel for the “pain” patient. "About Pain" admirably accomplishes this
Finally, we would like to do something about our sufferer’s pain. This is not a textbook of physical pain management, but it is essential reading for mental health clinicians encountering pain sufferers in practice, for the author gives us a panoply of effective psycho-social interventions to help ease the pain of many patients.
I would like to have seen discussion of addiction as a prime means of avoiding pain, given our current national opiate crisis, but that would be the topic for another book.
- Ralph H. Armstrong