Friday, August 14, 2015

Psychache.

So I was reading a report on the use of electro-convulsive therapy in Quebec from 2002. In it there was a good overview of major depressive disorder:
Major depression is a chronic illness. Approximately 80% of patients will have at least one other episode of depression in their lifetime. On average, the episodes last approximately 20 weeks, and most patients recover temporarily. The economic and social impact of major depression is considerable. 
Worldwide, depression ranks fourth in the world’s disease burden, immediately after respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases and perinatal conditions. The social and economic burden it entails is greater than that of ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular disease and tuberculosis. 
There is also an immense psychological burden. According to a systematic literature review, depression appears to substantially increase the risk of cardiovascular-disease mortality, but the quality of the studies available does not establish either the actual level of increase or the causal mechanisms. Psychological suffering, also called psychache (or psychic pain), is so great that suicide often appears to be the best means of escaping it.
I'd never heard the term psychache before. The term is used to describe psychological, psychic pain. Something I suffer from and usually refer to as psychological pain. 

There's no doubt that all the reading and research I'm doing is helping in my able to write, and talk about my illness, but I don't know how helpful it is in experiencing the pain. The suffering is here regardless of the intellectualizing I use to frame it. 

What good is psychache to me? Can I call in it to work with it? Is it recognized by the medical community? By employers? By our greater culture? 

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