Trauma, Stress, Catastrophizing & Somatic Complaints

Interesting study that supports what I see in many people with chronic somatic complaints. What this study showed was what we already know: potentially traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms which can lead to somatic complaints in the body. Then when people start to pain catastrophize (excessive negative worry) it just adds fuel to the fire and makes people vulnerable to more somatic symptoms.  I see this a lot- pain catastrophizing is one the main continuing drivers of chronic symptoms and something we need to address to get better.

From the study:

“Our findings support a moderated mediation model that begins with exposure to PTEs (Potentially Traumatic Events) that leads to PTSS (Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms), which in turn increase the number of somatic symptoms. Higher levels of pain catastrophizing might attenuate this indirect link by affecting the interpretation of PTSS and create a vulnerability to more somatic symptoms.”