Widows & Widowers Feel Less Chronic Pain Than Singles and Couples

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

After the death of a spouse, it’s natural for the family and friends of the surviving partner to treat them somewhat delicately.

Widows and widowers are often seen as more emotionally fragile due to their circumstances, perhaps even more prone to depression or anxiety.

Yet new research has found just the opposite, that surviving spouses might have less susceptibility to emotional issues as a result of their loss.

Researchers tracked 2,000 patients aged 16 to 73 for their report, specifically testing for their individual tolerance to chronic pain and susceptibility to emotional conditions.

The subjects were each undergoing treatment at the medical College of Virginia pain center at the time of the research.

According to the report, widows and widowers felt less overall chronic pain compared with those who are married or single.

“Widows and widowers felt less chronic pain

compared with those married and single.”

The findings surprised the researchers, led by Dr. James Wade, a professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

They had expected still-married couples to report fewer issues such as depression or frustration, largely due to having a support system in place.

Additionally, the widows and widowers were found to have less overall fear of emotional trouble than both married and single individuals.

Wade wonders if the experience of losing a spouse somehow provides them with almost an “emotional inoculation” against future lifestyle threats.

“We think that loss may force us to develop coping strategies to bounce back from threats to your quality of life,” he said.

He said in the case of a widowed spouse, the loss differs significantly from that of a divorce or separation, mainly due to its uncontrollable nature.

Among the patients, researchers considered issues such as age, ethnicity and gender for their findings.

The report appeared in the journal Pain Research and Treatment.

From: hindawi.com.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.