Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mental health and feeling pain

Since going on antidepressants many changes have occurred with my body. One of these is that my pain threshold has increased. To the point where I have gone from the worlds greatest wimp to having my last filling done without anesthetic (it was a small filling). 

Serotonin is involved in pain system, with low serotonin levels increasing sensitivity to pain. I have read that people with depression have a much higher probability of back pain. The study concluded that most people who are depressed have back pain because they have a low pain threshold.

Another study has just come out looking a females, pain sensation and emotional "wellness". This was done with the cold pressor test which involves plunging the arm into a bucket of ice cold water. The time elapsed before pain is first felt and when the pain becomes unbearable are measured. This gives an indicator of pain threshold. The results show that women who are emotional "well" experience less pain than those who are less emotionally healthy.

Thus again we see the connection between emotions and the body. This connection is part of the mystery of the body where our mind/heart/emotions are interrelated to the physical body. Thus if we ignore the emotional connection in sickness and wellness we miss a very important area.

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