, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 251-255

Choosing to Suffer: Reflections on an Enigma

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Abstract

Most people pursue pleasure and seek to avoid pain. Some individuals, however, choose a life characterized by pain and suffering. The author describes the most common varieties of such behavior patterns: asceticism, martyrdom, penance and masochism. Critical psychodynamics are discussed and the author proposes a synthesis of the motivation underlying pain/suffering seeking behavior.