Chronic pain may be internalized and integrated into the sufferer's object-relations, thereby influencing sufferer's depression. To examine this, fifty-five women suffering from chronic pain were assessed as to their pain-personification, pain intensity, depression, anxiety, and pain related distress. The assessment protocol included an innovative self-report measure, the Pain Personification Questionnaire (PPQ), measuring pain as an internal "bad" object. Controlling for level of pain intensity, we found that the PPQ predicts depression, illness intrusiveness, and pain-related distress, but not anxiety. These findings encourage an objectrelations approach to the understanding and treatment of depression in chronic illness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health