Entries by Katie Dashtban

Why Stress Causes People to Overeat and What to Do?

Chances are you have heard of the phrase “stress eating.” You probably know of the comforting effects of “Comfort Foods” such as sugary and high fat foods as well. So, indeed, when you feel stressed out, certain stress hormones produce higher than normal levels in the body. In the short term this surge of stress […]

When tempted for food…

When tempted for food, is it easier to eat and be done with the temptation or not eat and be done with the temptation? If you are a foodie or just find it too tempting to do away with high calorie foods then you have probably experienced the pain of being tempted, not wanting to […]

Spinal Cord Stimulator

When it comes to successful management of chronic back pain, sometimes extreme measures such as surgery on the spinal cord is necessary. In this type of surgery a device is used to exert pulsed electrical signals to the spinal cord to control chronic pain. Often patients are asked to obtain a psychological evaluation before the […]

Is there a difference between disease and illness?

In my practice as a medical psychologist, I have noticed that when a person experiences undesirable symptoms, for example pain, that there is often a distinction between what their physician calls a disease versus what the patient calls her illness. In other words, there is often a distinction made between disease and illness. Clinical experience […]

Taking ownership of pain, a blessing not a curse

When it comes to chronic pain, the matter has clearly been bothering you for a while. You have been coping with pain for at least 6 months, sometimes even years. It is very likely that you feel sad, anxious and maybe even angry for the disruption that pain has brought into your life. At this […]

Reading in bed

From the time we are infants, we are “put to bed” with some type of soothing ritual, ie. lullaby or being rocked. It seems natural to acquire a bed time routine in order to reach for a good night sleep. So, yes, reading a light book that is not too emotionally activating is often what […]

Metabolic Syndrome, Complicated With Mental Illness

Metabolic syndrome nearly affects 50 million people in America. Anyone with 3 or more of the following attributes is most likely affected by metabolic syndrome: Women: waist size of 35 inches or more, men: waist size of 40 or more. Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher. Good cholesterol (HDL) of less than 40 […]

What is your pain fear number?

Most people are familiar with the pain scale. It is a subjective way of measuring one’s pain level at a given moment. There is no medical device or medical test that can objectively measure one’s pain level and so health care providers rely on the patients’ own report. The pain scale asks patients to rate […]

It Takes a Village to Manage Chronic Pain

Dear Readers, An idea just came to mind that I thought might be worth sharing with you. Have you heard the saying: “It takes a village to raise a child?” Well, I think the same concept applies to successful management of chronic pain. By the time your pain condition has changed from acute (imminent, only […]