Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Chronic Pain group and Suffering

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After my triple rollover on I-5 south, after the fusions, many doctors and therapies I was left with serious chronic pain.

Along with 14 other unfortunate souls, I joined a real chronic pain group. It was depressing knowing this was my peer group.

Group was stressful at first, so many medications and fear of the unknown. You find out quickly that you share five or six different traits.

I ranked myself in the middle of the group, and damn glad I was not hurt as bad as some. Mostly spinal injuries for all 15 of us.

We all just wanted to go back to our life as it was. Hold on to that desire and suffering will be your partner.

After six months my inner guide knew it was time to change.

I threw out my pills and started to hike. My pain increased and desperately wanted me to stop.

As a jock, this was a battle I knew well. After a month of hiking everyday, my chronic pain began to compress.

I learned my thoughts and emotions could increase or decrease my pain.

I challenged another in group to follow me.

His name is Rick and this is a response from this post:

https://ptsdawayout.com/chronic-pain/

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“Everything in this article is true! I personally witnessed Marty go through this. My name is Rick and I was in the same pain management group when I met Marty and he can a test to the fact that I was close to death! A lot closer then I am today. Let me explain…

I have had 5 back surgery’s. I have a Med. Pump implanted in me which was maxed out feeding me Dilotded 24 hours a day and a spinal cord stimulator implanted in me and at the time I was taking Morphine,Percocet pulse Soma nothing helped the pain! I wanted to die! I thought my life was over.

I was only 34 when I got hurt at work and after 8 years of uncertainty and the thought of not being able to provide for my family I was at my end!

I met Marty in my pain management group and I saw someone who had a way out! I started to walk more and stop feeling sorry for myself and realized there is more to life and I cant give up! Now I’m 51 years old, Marty and I still keep in touch even though I live in TX. now. I visit with him every time I get back home. I am now doing some Acting in films and enjoying life with out all the drugs.”

Thanks Marty

Rick

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Pain: Part Three, 3

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“For many patients, what’s worse is the invisible nature of their condition.

‘You can’t see pain, and this is a very big thing for these people,’ says Gustin.

‘With my work, I can educate people that it’s a physical pain that results from subtle changes in the brain.’

According to Gustin, the research demonstrates that interaction between brain cells is damaged in the brains of people with chronic pain.

‘It’s in an unhealthy way, and we can change that.

The border, the thalamus, can actually close, and we can do that with neuro-feedback.

‘We can change the way the cells talk to each other and we can actually rewrite the painful memories.’

What chronic pain does to your brain: part 2

A model brain bisected IMAGE: THE THALAMUS HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE ‘BORDER IN THE BRAIN’ (FLICKR/DJ NEIGHT/CC BY NC ND 2.0)

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Researchers also found people with chronic pain experienced a reduction in the volume of their prefrontal cortex—the region of the brain that is understood to regulate emotions, personality expression and social behaviour.

This results in a further decline in the neurotransmitter GABA.

‘Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time, and they can’t dampen down these feelings because the prefrontal cortex has lost its ability to dampen down these thoughts.’

Anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts can be big problems for those living with chronic pain, says Gustin.

Twenty per cent try to suicide.

A lot of clients who I see, they can’t stop their worrying, they can’t stop their anxiety, and they ask me why.

‘I think showing them that there are subtle changes in the brain—and because of these subtle brain changes, they have these thoughts and they can’t stop it—it helps them to cope with that, because a lot of times they are stigmatised.

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Part one: THE PAIN PARADOX from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”.

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IMAGE: NEUROSCIENCE IS CLOSER THAN EVER TO UNDERSTANDING HOW CHRONIC PAIN AFFECTS THE BRAIN (MEDIA FOR MEDICAL/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES)
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At least one in five Australians lives with chronic pain, and often the cause is unknown.

 

Scientists are just now discovering the crucial role the brain plays in how pain is experienced, and how it might pave the way for innovative treatment, write Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis.

 

The economic and social burden of chronic pain is enormous.

 

While analgesic drugs can provide pain relief for many, their side-effects, tolerance issues and addictiveness mean that scientists are on the hunt for alternative treatments.

 

Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time.

 

DR SYLVIA GUSTIN, NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH AUSTRALIA

 

The challenge of developing such treatments has led to more research on the brain’s role in chronic pain.

 

‘At the moment we have focused our work to two areas in the brain,’ says Dr Sylvia Gustin from Neuroscience Research Australia. ‘One is called the thalamus—the other is the prefrontal cortex.’

 

Described as the ‘border in the brain’, the thalamus acts as the gateway between the spinal cord and higher brain

 

When you sustain an acute injury there is an opening in the thalamus for information to pass through from the affected body part to the brain.

 

‘This is very important because then we need to heal, we need to relax, we need to look after ourselves. After an acute injury is healed, we know that this border should actually close.’

 

When researching people who experience chronic pain, Gustin identified a key neurological difference: the opening in the thalamus remains open long after acute pain is gone.

 

Gustin’s team found a decrease in the volume of the thalamus, resulting in a decrease of a specific neurotransmitter: gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.

 

‘What this means,’ Gustin says, ‘is that in people with ongoing pain, this border is always open. Every signal gets amplified and it results in the experience of pain.’

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Healed, a word I refrain from using!

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To many connotations around healed, healing, to use that word. I thought I was completely healed at one time and then PTSD erupted around a stressful situation.

Healing is different for each of us, I will never be happy go lucky with all the healing in the world. My abuse during childhood damaged me, isolated me from attachments with others.

A loner was the only thing my father allowed me to be. Crowds have never felt safe for me.

Trust, not something I am very familiar with. My happiness is not carved out of the things, normal people think constitutes happiness.

My needs are much different than others. Now, they are minimal and that solves many issues.

It was mandatory for me to know my inner world if I wanted to heal.

PTSD has led me down a path, a spiritual journey, a daily meditation practice, a life with gratitude, giving and kindness.

Changes abound.

Approval is needed in small amounts now.

Negative thoughts die from a lack of attention.

I can stay neutral, focused, for days while my trauma wants an audience to power up.

I just do not spend time worrying about my worthiness or unworthiness, anymore.

My life has 90% less worry, doubt and fear. There must be some happiness in so much alleviation of suffering.

However you classify me, healed, still messed up or better, I have taken my life back.

The past finally is the past and my feeling is, I have gained strengths from surviving.

I have wasted enough time on trauma and refuse to waste another breath.

It takes a daily practice to change a 24/7 disorder like Complex PTSD.

The biggest change, I am not a victim, my father has no power over me, I am free and content with me.

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Politics have always been a battle between _______

Jaws” released by Universal Studios in 1975 directed by Steven Spielberg

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The year 1975, the place Amity Island, the battle is the same as now, profit (economy) versus safety. Who wins?

 

Indecision or greed costs lives then and now.

 

The masses rarely have insight into the real danger, the scope of their privileged decisions at our expense..

 

Maybe, why some think used car salesman have more integrity than politicians.

 

Hard to think a spiritual leader like the 14th Dalai Lama in Washington politics.

 

A human being who has devoted his life to having less “Ego” and more equanimity, would not waste his life in politics.

 

Greed, status and power have no foundation in his life.

 

Even my humble spiritual journey sees politics as a cesspool of ultimate power!

 

Politics attracts huge “Egos” competing for status, power and legacy.

 

Happiness seems rare in this backstabbing environment.

 

Mard Gras this year is an example:   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/us/coronavirus-new-orleans-mardi-gras.html

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Physical and Emotional Pain: The Undeafeated Mind!

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Though the experience of physical pain and emotional pain are clearly different, functional imaging studies show that, with few exceptions, the regions of the brain that these types of pain activate are identical.

These include not only the regions responsible for giving pain its unpleasant character, but also those responsible for regulating its size, location, and intensity (perhaps partially explaining the startling finding that Tylenol, a centrally acting pain reliever, alleviates not only the pain of a smashed finger but also the pain of hurt feelings.

No wonder, then, that physical and emotional pain produce the same reaction: a strong desire to avoid the things that cause them.

“Suffer what there is to suffer. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life,” wrote Nichiren Daishonin.

Yet most of us clearly don’t.

Unfortunately, the strategies we use to avoid emotional pain often cause more harm than does the experience of emotional pain itself:

more harm results, for example, from excessive drinking or drug use than from the anxiety they’re often used to anesthetize;

more harm results from relationship sabotage than from the fear of intimacy that often drives it.

Not only that, but attempting to suppress emotional pain may paradoxically increase it.

In contrast, being accepting of emotional pain, being willing to experience it without attempting to control it, has actually been found to decrease it.

In one study of patients with generalized anxiety disorder, for example, subjects who were taught to accept their anxiety reported substantial reductions in worry, reductions that persisted even beyond the duration of the study.

But such a decrease is only a happy byproduct, for the true purpose of acceptance isn’t to diminish emotional pain but rather to become more comfortable feeling it.

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Equanimity: Focused and Fearless

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“Equanimity is steady through vicissitudes, equally close to the things you may like and the things you do not like.

Observe when the tendency to move away from what you do not like ends, and the tendency to hold on to what you like is equally absent.

Personal preference no longer dictates the direction of attention.

Equanimity contains the complete willingness to behold the pleasant and the painful events of life equally.

It points to a deep balance in which you are not pushed and pulled between the coercive energies of desire and aversion.

Equanimity has the capacity to embrace extremes without getting thrown off balance.

Equanimity takes interest in whatever is occurring simply because it is occurring.

Equanimity does not include the aversive states of indifference boredom, coldness, or hesitation.

It is an expression of calm, radiant balance that takes whatever comes in stride.”

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10 Surprising Facts About Rejection: Research finds that rejection affects intelligence, reason, and more

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/experts/guy-winch-phd

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We know that rejection really hurts, but it can also inflict damage to our psychological well-being that goes beyond emotional pain. Here are 10 lesser known facts that describe the effects rejection has on our emotions, thinking, and behavior.

Let’s begin by examining why rejection hurts as much as it does:

1. Rejection piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain. fMRI studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts so much (neurologically speaking). In fact our brains respond so similarly to rejection and physical pain that…

2. Tylenol reduces the emotional pain rejection elicits. In a study testing the hypothesis that rejection mimics physical pain, researchers gave some participants acetaminophen (Tylenol) before asking them to recall a painful rejection experience. The people who received Tylenol reported significantly less emotional pain than subjects who took a sugar pill. Psychologists assume that the reason for the strong link between rejection and physical pain is that…

3. Rejection served a vital function in our evolutionary past. In our hunter/gatherer past, being ostracized from our tribes was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive for long alone. Evolutionary psychologists assume the brain developed an early warning system to alert us when we were at risk for ostracism. Because it was so important to get our attention, those who experienced rejection as more painful (i.e., because rejection mimicked physical pain in their brain) gained an evolutionary advantage—they were more likely to correct their behavior and consequently, more likely to remain in the tribe. Which probably also explains why…

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We do not want to suffer!

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We do not want to suffer. For much of life this desire steers us away from danger.

If we have a mental disorder, (PTSD, depression, etc) avoiding brings more suffering.

I started out avoiding a few things to control my fight or flight firing. The adrenal stress response is preparing us for a lethal threat.

This state is filled with fear, anxiety and unrest.

It scares us because we seem to have no influence over it.

Mine fired when it wanted, my effort did nothing to stop it.

This behavior made things much worse. At bottom I spent six months in my dark garage, agoraphobic.

My fight or flight still fired ten plus times a day.

Escaping my mind was impossible.

My nervous system was upside down. Cortisol and adrenaline were at extreme levels, a day felt like a week.

Healing came when I faced my triggers, sitting still, focused on my breath.

I learned to sit quietly in the midst of my suffering.

My fight or flight mechanism became a friend not the enemy.

I learned to feel all the emotions fully, then release them.

The volume decreases as we face them, integrate them.

I discovered my fight or flight could fire on its own, but my breath could calm the upset, dissipating the cortisol and adrenaline.

How do you react to a trigger firing?

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