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NYTimes Opinion: "Is Pain a Sensation or Emotion" - H. Warraich 2019

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by James Morris-Lent, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    United States

    I saw this in the opinions today. It's a short read and I must say it is fluff.

    -The author notes that opioids have proven to be ineffective and even counterproductive for treating chronic pain (okay).
    -From that point he makes the (unfounded) logical leap to conclude that our understanding of pain as predominantly a physical sensation or stimulus (which one is it?) has proven ineffectual.
    -Rather, we need to understand it also as an emotion (like the Greeks did!), part of the person's 'story', because brain-stuff is happening when we process/feel pain (apparently anything brain ~=~ mind if you need it for your argument) and there is an association between pain and mental disorders.
    -The author doesn't name any specific model or offer any specific treatment other than noting the necessity of 'compassion'. However, he seems to take it as a given that there are interventions available to us that will prevent acute pain from becoming chronic.

    rvallee and shak8 like this.
  2. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    It's the NY Times. Think 'intellectual substance of the Weekly World News, neuroticism of an Upper East Side New Yorker, both covered in a suffoctating cape of smug'. NYT's audience are the same people you saw in the college cheating headlines, plus the professors at the colleges involved. But unlike WWN, the NYT never found Bat Boy.
    shak8, chrisb and adambeyoncelowe like this.
  3. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    After reading that article this morning, I will try not reading any more articles about pain in news outlets nor routine publish-or-perish research articles. Ditto for the opioid crisis.

    I don't need to be reminded that society wants to take away my low dose opioid, the only treatment that briefly gives me a bit of energy and pain-clearing to carry on a 35% of normal activity level.

    Critique: Yes, when people empathize with the person in pain, they will feel a sort of empathic pain-lite. When someone dies, one feels the tragedy in that same mini-way. OK. But calling pain an emotion, now that is feeding chocolate to the psychologists.

    The writer is revelling in the fact that he didn't take an opioid for his slipped disc and that he did a lot of physical therapy instead. Bully for him--wow, it's like "How I spent my summer vacation."

    Not all pain is of the same intensity. Widespread pain, such as fibromyaglia is noxious and affects much of the brain and senses. It is extraordinarly disruptive of one's life. Not all pain is the same. Not all pain is the same. Not all pain....
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The only response to this would be to put your ideas to the test. No sane person would.

    This framing that chronic pain is different from, well, pain, is a bizarre belief that is not borne out by reality.

    Test it. It's easy. Doesn't even need to be intense, I'm sure there are ways to stimulate pain in a way that does not do any damage. In fact, there are plants and animals (like bullet ants) that have compounds that cause agonizing pain without any measurable damage.

    This is just like braggards who claim they can get through waterboarding like it's nothing. They cry like everyone else, most can't even take more than a few seconds of it before they tap out, which actually makes all the difference, when you can just make it stop on demand.
    alktipping and Wonko like this.

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