- The term analgesia comes from the Greek words an (not) and algos (pain). It is used to denote a specific loss or impairment of sensitivity to painful stimuli of a tactile, thermal, chemical, or other physical origin. Etiologically, the mediation of analgesia is attributed to either peripheral or central nervous tissue damage, to the administration of anaesthetics or other chemical substances, or to psychological mechanisms. Some examples of psychological mechanisms associated with the mediation of analgesia are stress, " ecstasy, " trance, rapture, hypnotic states, somnambulism, "dissociation, "sensory conversion, and " psychosis. As noted by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), analgesia can be profound in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of "schizophrenia. As Bleuler wrote, "Even in well-oriented patients one may often observe the presence of a complete analgesia which includes the deeper parts of the body as well as the skin. The patients intentionally or unintentionally incur quite serious injuries, pluck out an eye, sit down on a hot stove and receive severe gluteal burns, etc." The term analgesia is used in contrast to the term " hyperalgesia.ReferencesBleuler, E. (1950). Dementia praecox or the group of schizophrenias. Monograph series on schizophrenia no. 1. Translated by Zinkin, J. Madison, WI: International Universities Press.Wobst, A.H.K. (2007). Hypnosis and surgery: Past, present, and future. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 104, 1199-1208.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.