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Pain and Evil: From Local Nociception to Misery Following Social Harm

Authors D'Ippolito M, Purgato A, Buzzi MG

Received 29 October 2019

Accepted for publication 7 March 2020

Published 21 May 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1139—1154


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Mariagrazia D’Ippolito,1 Adriano Purgato,2 Maria Gabriella Buzzi1,3

1Neurorehabilitation 2, Post-Coma Unit, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome 00179, Italy; 2National Health System, Azienda USL Roma 2, Rome 00157, Italy; 3Headache Centre, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome 00179, Italy

Correspondence: Maria Gabriella Buzzi
Neurorehabilitation 2, Post-Coma Unit, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Via Ardeatina 306, Rome 00142, Italy
Tel +39 0651501753
Fax +39 0651501752

Abstract: Experiencing pain, especially when chronic, is an excruciating condition that should be regarded as a syndrome, if not a disease. People suffering from chronic pain tend to develop psychological discomfort mostly due to lack of acceptance, disbelief, blame. The complexity of pain pathophysiology, plus a wide range of negative psychosocial factors, leads to a more complex suffering that deserves attention and multidisciplinary treatments. The possibility that chronic pain may occur following physical aggression, torture, or persecution raises the issue of evil as a major contributor to pain in its worst representation – when individuals or groups are attacked based on racial, social, gender, religious, political, or other grounds. To explore the complex issue of chronic pain following physical or psychological harm, and to underscore the need for a multidisciplinary approach to reduce the burden of chronic pain, we discuss the biological mechanisms underlying pain state. We seek to clarify those factors leading to pain chronification, as well as personal and social attitudes that confound patients with chronic pain. The importance of family and social environment is also investigated, as well as personality traits of chronic pain patients that may further hamper successful treatment. The presence of chronic pain, modulated by, for example, acceptance of being a victim of premeditated physical and social violence, makes the issue more difficult to comprehend.

Keywords: pain, evil, psychological features

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