The Masochistic Patient

The masochistic, or self-defeating, patient goes through life suffering. Although these patients need to continue to suffer mentally, they do not seek physical abuse or pain. The masochistic patient is dedicated to a life of self-sacrifice. In contrast to other types of patients, this type adapts well to illness and, in fact, may feel threatened by recovery. Thus, such patients often frustrate physicians. The goal for these patients is to be able to function despite their problems. Interviewers should not promise cures because this creates more problems for the patient and the health-care provider.

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