Body pain versus Mind pain


I wonder if folks prefer one pain of reaction to PTSD over another, provided you could have only one of them and I know in reality it is hard and they go hand by hand.
I am coming to the realization that my body is the ultimate decider and stronger than my mind but obviously both got hit really hard (hit in the metaphorical sense of the word).

The longer I am in my journey of healing, the more I find I would prefer body pain to the mind pain but still need the link to the mind to "hear" the body if this makes sense.
The body pain seems more true to me where the mind pain gets confused in perspectives of time, others, ideas, symptoms, and even "hearing" my body.
For example, getting hot means (hot headed) either angry or boundary crossed or along the same lines. Feeling shame could mean, I am taking the perspective of another and looking back at myself pointing fingers! etc etc

I know this may sound splitting hairs but this is the result of extreme self examination process.


I prefer mind pain. It eventually stops or at least changes where I can understand and deal with it. Body pain just has as many layers as mind pain but only gets worse.

I've learned in this long life of mine that mind pain brings about change. Healing. Learning to trust the right people for the right reasons. Etc. Body pain teaches me nothing but how to keep pushing myself when I would rather be in a warm bed reading a book.


That is extremely a valuable way of looking. Thank you for sharing. As I was reading your thoughts @ladee I could not help think would not the same thing be true for healing the body as such rather than trusting others versus trusting one to accommodate the healing...I am always operating under the impression, others will be part of both process. Even in sick we still need people to heal us.

I am in awe of your input though cause I did not see it that way at all that the mind heal may require trust in others part.


@grit, I am almost 71 years old. My body has been thru hell and back. Partly due to PTSD stress and stored memories. Some of it simply the repetition of muscles and tendons thru all these years. Some of it permanent damage from trusting the wrong Dr when my gut said to find another one. Life and it's many choices and hindsight.

Last year when my son committed suicide I did not think I was going to be able to make it thru the initial pain and shock. I'll have this pain in my heart for the rest of my life. This pain is not teaching me anything except that I am strong which I already knew. I could have gone without this last one!!

But here I am. Still trying to do 'life' on the days that I can. And being very ok on the days I can't. Or simply won't. I also get to chose that I just WON'T do it today. Maybe tomorrow. But not today.

I feel this is a very important question you are asking for your own life. I always used this ' pick your pain'. Meaning the emotional pain of holding on to the past and fighting the process or facing it and doing whatever it takes to start healing those past issues that kept us hostage. The pain of being stuck or the pain of healing. At least when we are working on healing it has an end to it. Staying stuck is just that. Stuck.

The emotianl pain of losing my son has no end to it. All I know for sure is, I'm not done yet. I still have things to learn and do. And am learning to build a life around the pain that has no end. I hate it, but I'm doing it anyway.


Thank you for sharing this @ladee. Sometimes I do not remember all the details of others who post here and I feel that perhaps I read your comments before and felt that sense of wisdom you carry.
I am sorry for your loss. I think you put this quite nicely how intricate they are and how much we need both and the end of things as it may be - none are permanent!

Thank you for sharing and your vulnerability.


There is a delicate twist concerning choosing body pain or mental anguish for some. A few of my acquaintances and/ or friends, used body pain to relieve their mental anguish. Hard physical exercise, brutal sports, mammoth projects, the unsavory craved relief of mental pain through self harm is perhaps a body choice.

Then with full respect to those whom chose assisted suicide (or unassisted) within my geographic ... there appears not to be an clear division from my experience at times - just perhaps people’s desperate choices to end the pain in some finality of manner.

I have often offered to close friends perhaps too simple of a sentence but to me, “Pain is pain.”


I used to be about body pain. In an attempt to either 'feel' something or to block out mind feelings. Not a healthy thing at all. Mix in drugs and alcohol too. Bit of a mess.
I didn't use any of it to self explore (although I thought I was: see how much I could out my body through. How much could it take? It fasincated me, but not to make me a better person, just a distructive way of living).

I think what @ladee says is so true. When mind pain gets so bad, it's (usually?) A sign for me whilst in therapy that something is working it's way out?

Interestingly enough, I made a connection with mind pain and body pain recently. A particular thing has been triggering me over these last few months (having sex). The mind pain of it has been working it's way out of my body. Initially it was like it was the core of me: deep inside, overwhelming and intense. Over time, it feels like it has been moving out of the body to the time before last feeling now just beneath the skin, and last time like it was sitting on my skin.
And it reminded me of when I had a running injury training for a marathon. Initially the pain was deep inside my leg. But as it healed. The pain moved further to skin level until it worked it's way out of my body.
So this working out from deep inside to out of the body process was the same. Though totally different issues: similar process?


thank you so much @Recovery4Me and @Movingforward10
I am so sorry movingforward10 you are in pain. I am holding you in my thoughts.

Why do I write these posts? because I am stuck in somewhere between my body and language/mind. When I am alone and there is no one to hear what I have to say...where do I hurt? This has been all along my biggest confusion. So I broke down to body (what I have alone that no one else can understand how it speaks to me) versus the mind (what I use to be in therapy, with others, and I use to explain how the body is doing at the best that I can ).

In more practical things: Aside what I say and feel and share with others, where is the pain of my childhood in my body? Because personally I have overcame how to recognize my feelings and relating to others has not been a significant issue in my life. I, in my little bubble, could not put my finger on where is the pain, the suffering from my childhood - cause no I do not believe I could be violently and sexually abused for so long in such vulnerable state and just go up and walk freely. Something is lost for me. Now that I am overcoming dissociation mainly depersonalization of body and mind not affect from the body...I am thinking slightly with different framework or perception.

Now reading your posts and sleeping on this for few days, I am relieved in a profound ways. If I did not have anyone to share with my pain, my corporeal pain from my violent background is around my digestive system and elimination system. No matter how much I share, feel, express, love, give, take, care and provide or allow to be taken care of or provided for, or heard, or validated, or believed or supported, at the end, for me I am realizing there is a pain in the body that is emitting to speak up to be heard and I feel finally I am heard and can pinpoint where the pain laid in my body. My mind is freed up, my feelings are recognized, and my body is in pain but weirdly this recognition has unleashed so much energy for me to get going and do what I need to be done. I am a talker (just in case this is not obvious) and I feel I have talked most about this pain/suffering for so long and finally I am falling into silence of just being - I am heard/understood/recognized as much as anyone outside of me could. Even you all responding and explaining your feelings that are evoked by this post is nurturing and convincing me more that I am heard. Always have been heard. and now I am finding silence peaceful and just hugging my body cause this physical wound has always been there but I have been using my mind to run away from it in depersonalizing. I am looking at my body now and I am not disgusted, shocked, in awe or in love, I am just being.


From your last very personal words grit, I would say you are 'unstuck'. It does take a long long time for some of us to make the connection. I lose a lot of time here lately. So I very much understand how the mind takes us away from feeling our body or much of anything else for that matter.

Just learning to 'be'. Fitting inside our own skin. It's not always a happy place to be because of all that got us here to begin with. But we can finally own ourselves!!!

And happy to know the reflection you see now is neither good nor bad. But it is YOU and that IS a good thing.

Much respect for the work you have been doing. Hope the rest of the ride on this PTSDtrain is less painful and quicker healing. Gentle hugs if you accept.