Pain catastrophizing has been classified as a tendency to misinterpret and exaggerate situations that may be threatening. Individuals who are found to catastrophize about pain find it difficult to shift their focus of attention away from painful or threatening stimuli, and attach more threat or harm to non-painful stimuli.
Pain catastrophizing has been described for more than half a century which adversely affects the pain coping behavior and overall prognosis in susceptible individuals when challenged by painful conditions. It is a distinct phenomenon which is characterized by feelings of helplessness, active rumination and excessive magnification of cognitions and feelings toward the painful situation. Various models of pain catastrophizing have been proposed which include attention-bias, schema-activation, communal-coping and appraisal models.
Related Journals of Pain Catastrophizing