Anne de Kervasdoué, Jean Belaïsch

Why Do Women Suffer More Than Men and Why Do They Live Longer? Publication date : January 20, 2005

This book deals with stubborn, chronic pains whose causes are often obscure, but which produce unendurable physical and psychological suffering. Disorders such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, Goujerot-Sjögren’s syndrome, migraine and tinnitus can be responsible for some of these chronic pains, which afflict more women than men.
Since such pains are difficult to diagnose, patients are often told that there’s nothing wrong with them and that they should consult a psychotherapist. But the suffering is rarely imaginary: chronic pains are often the symptoms of a known disease. And even in those cases where the pains spring from psychological causes, they should be recognised as such and treated.
After describing several cases, the authors explain the mechanisms of pain (particularly of the complex role played by hormones and neuromediators). They explore the connections between body and mind, and try to understand why more women than men are afflicted with chronic pain. In the final part of the book, they tell patients how to take control of their own bodies: What type of medication is available for combating pain? What are the therapeutic techniques?
This is a sensitively written book by two physicians who are in daily contact with deeply discouraged patients who have been made to feel guilty because their suffering is “all in the head”. The authors also help us to understand why men and women do not suffer from pain equally.

Anne de Kervasdoué is a gynaecologist and the author of Questions de femmes. Jean Belaïsch is an andrologist and gynaecologist, specialising in sterility. They are the co-authors of Questions d’hommes.