Psychological mislabeling of chronic pain: Lessons from migraine in the 20th century
Pikoff, Howard B.
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Migraine and many other medical disorders were viewed as psychological problems in disguise for much of the 20th century. Starting with Freud, psychoanalytically oriented practitioners described a complex of unconscious conflicts, desires, and personality traits they believed to be the primary cause of a wide range of medical conditions. With the advance of basic research and pharmacotherapy, the psychogenic model was gradually replaced by a biopsychobehavioral model. This model treats migraine as a biologically-based disorder that can be influenced by psychological factors and lifestyle. The present paper argues that for many migraine patients, psychological factors may not play a significant role.