This week's post is about what a character would experience if they had a disorder called Phantom Pain. I'm not talking about a rock band or about ghosts sticking needles in your arms. Sorry to disappoint.
Phantom pain occurs when you feel sensations arising from a part of your body you don't have anymore. A classic case is a person with an amputation of a leg. Interestingly, it's not just pain that is felt. Other sensations like tingling, movement, tickles, and temperature changes occur too. Almost all phantom pain syndromes occur from a lost limb. But it's been seen with the loss of an internal organ (spleen), breast, or other body part.
Why does it occur? There are several theories, such as "memories" in the nerves of the stump, or abnormal nerve impulses arising within the brain or spinal cord.
So even though a piece of you may be missing, you might feel like it never really left. Haunting, isn't it?
I find this phenomenon fascinating because of the ideas it prods with respect to emotional character struggles and fantasy-realm set-ups. Imagine looking for a magical power you've lost, but can still feel. And I guess a broken heart is a kind of phantom pain, too, isn't it?
Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice!
If you've got a medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
I will usually answer your question by email within a day or two, but post later so you don't have to wait a long time to get back to your WIP. All I ask in return is that you become a follower of my blog and post a link on your blog when I post. Easy peasy.
Also, don't forget to check out Mental Health Mondays at Laura's Blog!