Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sadness Enhances the Experience of Pain

Sadness enhances the experience of pain, scientists have proved(Yang et al, 2002) in a neuroreport. It is well known that emotion can modify the experience of pain. However, it is unclear how an emotional state and its concomitant neural activity affects activity in brain regions responsive to pain, thus altering the experience of pain itself. In their study, they examined the effect of sad mood on perception of painful stimuli and used functional MRI (fMRI) to identify neural activity changes in 15 participants who, in separate trials, (a) received painful electric shocks; (b) experienced a sad mood; and (c) received electric shocks as they were experiencing a sad mood. Sad mood was induced using a previously validated paradigm using sad pictures.

Participants rated pain as more intense when they were experiencing a sad mood (viewing sad pictures) than when they were viewing neutral pictures, even though the intensity of the painful stimulation was identical under both conditions.

When Peter warns Christians about the fiery trials they were bound to face, he prescribes an analgesic, a painkiller, right away- 'be glad also with exceeding joy' (1 Peter 4:12, 13). While God promises to customize or tailor Satan's attacks to the threshold we can safely bear (1 Cor. 10:13), the tried and tempted must not even contemplate being sad, no matter the intensity of inflammation inflicted. The secret is; "a merry heart does good like medicine'. Be happy.

Ignatius, a blessed martyr, spoke these words just before he was given to the wild beasts to be devoured:
"Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Jesus Christ!" When he heard the lions roaring, he said,"I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread"

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