What the attorney calls "mental pain and suffering" and emotional disturbance is identified by the physician as stress, a concept easier to appreciate than to define. The term was probably borrowed from the language of the engineer. Selye, the chief proponent of the term in medicine, employs it to describe the effects of external influences upon the human mind and body. The lawyer seeking damages for his client on the basis of mental and emotional disturbances (mental "pain and suffering") finds proof difficult. Until the sciences supply an accurate measure of mental and emotional disturbances due to stress, the legal profession will drift hopelessly upon the stormy sea of judicial indecision. The amount of litigation on this subject is large and conflicting.
Carl E. Wasmuth, Medical Evaluation of Mental Pain and Suffering, 6 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 7 (1957)