About Mark Maginn

I am 70, married and the father of a son in business near us here in Chicago. I have lived all over the country; Erie, PA, Louisville, central Illinois; Chicago, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, La Canada-Flintridge, CA, Danville, CA, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, CA. and since 2013 back in Chicago where we live in the Lakeview neighborhood. I did my undergraduate work at Illinois State University and my graduate studies in clinical social work at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I had a private practice of psychotherapy in Chicago and a small practice in New York. Because of unusual illnesses, I had to give up my profession in the mid-90s when we moved to New York. In NYC I spent 16 months organizing mental health care at ground zero after the attacks and worked in many venues in and around ground zero providing mental health care. I also educated many NY City employees on stress and trauma. Here in Chicago, I have a small private practice wherein I work with people suffering from complex PTSD. I am a poet, columnist and am currently writing a memoir tentatively titled Left Eye Blind.

47 Responses to About Mark Maginn

  1. I love your blog, you should add an RSS feed feature so I can get automatic notifications of new blogs. If you set one up please email me! i will bookmark you for now. Again Excellent Blog!

  2. Jennie Maginn says:

    Mark, I enjoyed your article and, of course, your last name caught my interest; would you please reply to me about genealogy? Thank you!

  3. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thank you!

    • Yuko says:

      Plantar fascitis comes 1st then you get a heel spur. I imnigae you have fascitis. Before you get out of bed in the morning, do calf stretches for a couple minutes before you get out of bed. Wear a to bed. It will help.

  4. Homepage says:

    whoah this blog is great i love reading your articles. 247551

  5. Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thank you!

  6. carol cleeton says:

    i was going through my facebook and came upon ur website 3 years ago my 17 year old son broke his neck since then chronic pain has been a part of our family im glad to hear that their are ppl i can talk to plz if anyone you know has any answers for me at what to do i’d love some comments the pain meds they give him dont work and their for heroin addicts

  7. Rhonda Lee Poole says:

    I have read all of you articles and most of your web page. I myself am a chronic pain patient, but I feel like Hercules, compared to what you describe that you go through. You are a very talented writer. I really appreciate all of the articles you have published about what we are currently going through in Florida, simply to get our legal and legitimate prescriptions filled. Hang in there and keep on writing. If you publish any books, please post it here. I would be very interested in reading them. You captured my attention.

    Rhonda Lee

  8. You are very talented in your ability to craft words in a poetic melody!

    Your writing is captivating; like a beautiful song that continues to play over and over in ones mind!

    Keep up the fight; I am motivated
    (because of you) to research the organization you volunteer with and become active.

    Thank you for ALL that you do for US with chronic pain and PTSD…!

    • left0089 says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Samuel. It’s nice to know that my writing is read.

      The American Pain Foundation no longer exists. You might want to look at Friends in Pain on Facebook.

      Again, thanks.

  9. Yes, I could not stop reading last night. Thank you my friend!

    I will check them out…

  10. I read your article about using EMDR for chronic pain, and I would like to translate it into Portuguese so the Brazilian EMDR therapists can profit from it. (I am a en EMDR Trainer/EMDR Institute/EMDR Iberoamerica.). I am specializing in the field of EMDR and Pain, so feel free to send things my way. I saw my mother suffer for 40 years with debilitating headaches… thanks for your work. Keep it up!

    • left0089 says:


      By all means go ahead and translate it. I’d love to stay in touch with you. My wife, Judie, and I are moving back to Chicago where years ago I had a thriving practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In addition to continuing my writing and publishing my memoir, I hope to restart a small private practice where I hope to specialize in working with people living with pain. I plan on learning about EMDR more in depth when I get there.

    • left0089 says:


      Would you, in your interpretation, to specify where my column was published originally: American News Report and its sister site on Facebook, the National Pain report.

      To give you an idea on how I came to PTSD, other than having it myself, I worked for years in my private practices in Chicago and New York with adults tortured as children as well as having helped organize disaster mental health care at Ground Zero in Manhattan after the attacks where I worked for 18 months. Nothing like personal and professional experience!

  11. Catherine A. Nichols-Pogorzelski says:

    from your info: Because of an unusual illness I had to give up my profession 17 years ago;

    Might you be willing to elaborate on the unusual illness you speak of?

    • left0089 says:

      Yes, it is Behcet’s Disease, a nasty autoimmune disease involving inflammation of veins, capillaries, etc. Causes all kinds of difficulties from painful mouth and genital lesions to blindness and neurological problems.

  12. Mary Allen says:

    As a fellow chronic pain warrior & hope to be able to write someday, I am so happy I found your blog. I look forward to your future posts.

    • left0089 says:

      Keep checking in. I’ve just posted my latest column from the National Pain Report on Facebook: LVING WITH PAIN: REACHING OUT AT GROUND ZERO can be read here.

  13. Colleen Pisaneschi says:

    I’ve enjoyed your articles in the National Pain Report and now I’m glad to have found your blog!
    Thank you for all the great writing and support. I’m a northern California pain patient with CRPS and it’s great to find you. Looking forward to more, Colleen P

  14. Hello! I’m in Illinois and trying to connect with other chronic pain patients viathe net s to attempt to establish a Patients Action Network and more! If you have any contacts you’d be willing to share, please let me know! Is there a an email I could contact you at please? Thanks so much!

  15. Thanks Mark! Its difficult to type at times so it’ll be short. I’d like to provide folks with a way as patients to network together to improve the quality if our lives. Please contact me, Mark, and readers if you’re interested in working together to do this. I apologize for this delayed response but my father died suddenly right after I received your response and I’ve been reeling ever since given he was my greatest supporter emotionally and financially. He taught me to fight for what I believed in and to care for elders, sick folks and anyone who has unmet basic human needs. Good luck to you all! Love, Respect & Solidarity, Folks!

  16. Sharon Larsen says:

    Hi Mark! I read the article about your dental problems and Suboxone.. i took Suboxone for 1 1/2 years and began to have a cavity. I had previously completed a full mouth dental reconstruction.
    Recently I went to the dentist and found that my teeth are completely being destroyed with pieces coming out and large holes in the back of my teeth.My dentist said it would cost $50,000 to replace crowns on all teeth, root canal, implants bridges.I was devastated and depressed when I got this news and also in a state of disbelief. I am a retired teacher I don’t have $5000 let alone $50000. After a month of trying to figure out why this happened, I realized it began when I was on Suboxone. I looked on google to see if a connection existed and found your blog and many others. I was stunned. Have you pursued this any further? I am looking into it. I live near Sacramento CA. Really enjoyed your sense of humor about an otherwise very difficult problem..Thanks and hope to hear from you.Sharon Is this the only way to contact you?

    • left0089 says:

      Sorry to hear of your travail. I’m still in the midst of a long dental run in hiatus right now. I owe the dentist quite a bit of money. Devastating. You can reach me here and on my Facebook. look forward to hearing from you.

  17. Sharon Larsen says:

    Thanks for getting back to me, Mark. I have contacted a local class action attorney about this.
    Was wondering if you had heard of anyone else in this process. I went to a new dentist in my area yesterday who was recommended to me by an excellent dentist in Santa Rosa, CA. I live in Citrus Heights CA near Sacramento. The Santa Rosa dentist gave me the name of a man who had gone to Costa Rica because it’s a place that has dental tourism. Evidently they are excellent and 1/3 to 1/2 the price. I am looking into this now. I think it’s cheaper to fly to another country in the long run. Howard, the man who went there, did a lot of research on it. Every one of my teeth is being destroyed. So many people have said their teeth were fine before Suboxone. Just don”t understand it.

  18. Soumya Karlamangla says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m a reporter for the LA Times and I’m interested in talking to you about a piece you wrote for the National Pain Report last year about Suboxone and your teeth. If you have time to chat, I’m at soumya.karlamangla@latimes.com, or you can call my office number at 213-237-5130. Thanks.

  19. Bill Snydefr says:

    Mark, my name is Bill Snyder. I know you from “way back”. I was your brother Mike’s best friend in the neighborhood during High School. I think of him very often and all the good times we had. I also remember you as the “little” brother. Just wondering if you remember me? I now live back in Louisville, after being in Virginia and Italy for awhile.

    • left0089 says:

      Good lord, Bill, of course I remember you. I’m knocked flat. How on earth did you find me?

      Of course you know that Mike died about 20 years ago when living in Pasadena. My mother is living in Jacksonville, OR as is my younger sister, Melinda. Our younger brother is in San Francisco from where my wife Judie and I moved to come back home to Chicago. We have a 23 year old son who completed his undergraduate work in northern CA and moved in with us late last Summer. He’s gotten a nice job and will be moving into his own apartment nearby in the next month or so.

      Our father died last Spring at the age of 91. Our your parents still alive?

      Where in Louisville are you living? Retired? Working? Kids? Bachelor?

      I must say that this is quite wonderfully shocking.

      My phone # is 925-324-7688. But honestly, my email is the best way to reach me: markmaginn91@gmail.com.

      Do you remember Candy Mack? No joke, she married a guy named David Cherry so she’s Candy Cherry. She, too, moved back to Louisville and is on Shelbyville Rd.

      We were last in Louisville 30 years ago for the 20th reunion of our 8th grade class. Long time ago.

      Judie has been a live long resident of Chicago until we moved to NY in ’95. From there we moved to LA then to the east bay of SF and then into San Francisco on the Embarcadero. we moved back to Chicago in 3/13.

      I’m reopening my private practice of psychotherapy in the near future. I’m also a poet, columnist, blogger, as you know, & a memoirist. My wife has made the real $$ as in a string of vice presidencies in the beauty industry.

      Well, get back to me. I want to know all. Especially Italy. Spent several weeks there for my fiftieth and my mothers seventy fifth 15 years ago.

      I sure hope all is well with you.


  20. Karen H. says:

    I just read your article “Living with Pain: Wrong People Being Targeted in the War on Drugs.” I am a retired paralegal and chronic pain sufferer. Your article gives me hope and I think it is wonderful, but I have one question. Who is REALLY behind this witch hunt against opioids and how are they benefiting from denying legitimate pain patients their medications? It seems to me that this is the question we need answered so we know how to combat this hysteria.

    • left0089 says:

      Sorry for such a late response. You pose a really good question. There are, of course, people from all professions and the families of those who’ve had both good and bad experiences with opioid medicines. The real problem isn’t just those flogging this issue for their own benefits but to a larger population people in the media who think they see a trend and then exploit it for their own reasons. I believe that there are those who flog this for personal and ultimately for monetary gain.

      Whatever their reasons, the real challenge if for those of us who use opioids to good effect need to put ourselves out there on the line. This however exposes us who do to all manner of opprobrium. We can, on our own, challenge news reports in an editorial form and contact our political reps with our own stories. But the most effective is to join with others in a movement that’s stronger in a group than we are as individuals.

      It may seem an upward struggle, but let me be cynical for a moment. This is too good a story for the media to simply drop or change directions. We can use this to get ourselves heard by a wider audience. Don’t be shy about contacting someone who has written a biased news report or article or even a television version of the battle against pain. Speak up! Make yourself heard and whatever you do, don’t give into the weight that opposes us. We are, as a significant minority group, quite powerful. Use it.

    • left0089 says:

      I’m not sure you’ll get this, Karen, but I want you to know I’m working on an article about what I’ve come to see as a major influence on our declining care. Among other venues, I will post it here. I hope this finds you doing as well as possible.


  21. Ruth Deerfield says:

    May 21, 2016: I am a disabled physician who underwent 13 pain procedures before I finally gave in to opioid therapy (the fentanyl patch). Due to an autoimmune disease which attacks my discs and my spine, I have had three spinal surgeries, herniated 9 discs (5 lumbar and 4 cervical), had to learn to walk again this is my third time–and due to the new CDC guidelines, I am in fear of losing the only pain medication that doesn’t affect my cognitive abilities, balance, and keeps me from committing suicide. I’m sure there are many more patients in the same boat who are unlikely to have functional improvement due to spinal cord damage which is often permanent and many pain management doctors in my county refuse to prescribe opioid therapy at all. I almost had a complete bowel obstruction, near respiratory failure, impending quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord compression from C3 through C7 just before my last (third) surgery and my pain management doctor wanted to lower the dose of my fentanyl patch that I had been on for the past 12 years after having 4 lumbar discs (out of 5) shatter into pieces and the pieces were pressing on my spinal cord and exiting nerve roots (before they were removed in spinal surgeries number one and number two) and the severe arthritis between the vertebra which are missing most of my discs and thus are bone on bone (no shock absorbers). Also one leg is much shorter than the other due to something known as foot drop from the neurological damage and partial paralysis worsening my back pain even more. Our government is not going after the drug dealers or doctors abusing the system. Instead they are punishing people with legitimate chronic pain. Please write something addressing this new problem and those poor veterans when Obama signs the new CDC guidelines for VA doctors. The suicide rate for all ages and both sexes has risen dramatically in the last 10 years and the latest survey of chronic pain patients predicts an increase in drug addiction, overdoses by illegal drugs rather than what they are supposedly trying to stop with these new regulations since the legal access to opioid therapy is drying up and intentional suicides will be going through the roof. Because of the postoperative guidelines after my surgery, my blood pressure went up to 200 over 120 and I cried all night begging for continuous long-acting IV pain medication before the anesthesia team finally gave in after following their required CDC protocol and the dose limitations because I was already “opiate dependent” since I was on the fentanyl patch before the surgery. I could have had a stroke or a heart attack from such a high blood pressure due to the pain (or my husband could have strangled the anesthesiologist if he knew which one was responsible for torturing me).

    • left0089 says:

      Ruth, I’m so sorry to hear of the horrible suffering you’re going through and the needlessly stupid way your pain is being treated. I, too am on a Fentanyl patch with a fairly high dose that has allowed me to reopen my private practice of psychotherapy in Chicago. I am very fortunate to be working with a young doc who sees no reason for me, or his other patients to suffer needlessly.

      I will be posting more regularly to my blog as I no longer write for the American News Report. Unfortunately, I’ve not paid too much attention to my blog and have thus lost readership. I hope to regain a following, however, I’ll be writing on more topics than pain.

      I can only hope that you find a physician who can look with jaded eyes on the new guidelines and treat you for your pain. In my practice, I work with people in chronic pain and really urge all to engage in Mindfulness Meditation and sensorimotor psychotherapy.

      I hope you can find someone with whom you can work to find whatever control there is to be had by you.

      You will be in my thoughts.

  22. Bill Martin says:

    Mark – would you be able to share your pain Doctor as I live in Chicago. Thanks. Bill Martin

    • left0089 says:

      Hi, Bill,

      Of course, I can share it: Joshua Merok with emphasis on the final syllable. He’s at 180 N. Michigan, 17th floor. His # is 1-312-201-1234.

      Joshua isn’t a pain specialist but does have a good grasp of pain medicine that is surrounded by the knowledge of a family physician. His manner is quite literally, the warmest and most focused of any doc I’ve worked with over the last half century.

      He can also be consulted on the emotional side of pain, to which I’ve found him most sensitive.

      Should you contact him, would you relay to him that I helped you get to him? I would also like to hear about your experience with him.

      Should you feel safe enough, I am very interested in what pain you deal with and how it’s affected you. In my private practice in the DePaul neighborhood of Lincoln Park, I try to keep my practice open to those suffering chronic pain/illness.

      Hope this is helpful to you!



  23. Vanessa Martin says:

    Thanks so much for the doctor’s info. I looked at healthgrades and vitals and he is rated extremely high. Depending on what my surgeon and rheumatologist suggest this week, I will consider contacting him. In regards to the pain I have, it is leg and buttock pain, that hasn’t resolved satisfactorily after a lumbar laminectomy over 3 months ago. The surgery was for severe stenosis, that apparently looks anatomically resolved on my post-op MRI. However, the nerve irritation/pain is still an issue.

    Regards, Bill

    • left0089 says:

      It’s a pain in the ass, quite literally, huh? I found a similar problem after the surgery to correct a broken back that happened decades before the surgery. It seems very likely that with all chiselling, gouging & hammering that some part of the arachnoid layer of my spine was nicked with something and blood seeped into the arachnoid layer of my spine causing inflammation. I have constant,periodic stabbing pains in my feet and less often in my legs. If it’s not one damn thing it’s another.

      I sincerely hope you find the origins of the continued pain and some kind of amelioration. Stay in touch and let me know how things go for you.


  24. Daniel says:

    We need your help. We now have stage 4 cancer patients enduring endless pain and suffering! This has went too Far! How did Klonody get this far? There is a well accepted standard of care in treatment of pain to the effect that the dose of medications including opoids should be individualized to enable patients to function as they choose and further to die relatively pain free…not happening! We are patients not addicts! a#PNA on Facebook

  25. Andy E Boyles says:

    Mark I also have adhesive arachnoiditis and I would very much like to know how you cope with it. I am 53 and I have had it in a significant way for a few years. The doctors are advocating a SCS. Would you be so kind as to contact me at aeboyles@gmail.com if you would like to share your experience?

  26. Jenny says:

    I’ve loved reading your deeply thoughtful posts and am truly looking forward to reading Third Eye Blind. Any idea when it will be available?
    Thanks, Mark.

    • left0089 says:

      Oh, my gods on Mt. Olympus. Jenny!! My email address: markmaginn91@gmail.com

      We moved back to Chicago from San Francisco/& the east bay 6 years ago. Russell also moved here and lives a mile away. I’m turning 70 on Saturaday which with my crappy body I never expected to make it past 50.

      How are you and where are you.

  27. Suzanne says:

    Hi Mark! Remember me from LinkedIn? How are you? I am reading your blog! I live with complex ptsd….good to “see you”

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