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How pain tolerance and anxiety seem to be linked



An article this week about Jo Cameron, who has lived 71 years without pain or anxiety because she has a rare genetic mutation, led to questions from New York Times readers.

The notion that the same gene might be responsible The way a person handles physical and mental pain has amazed many: are not they completely different? Or does their story suggest that sensitivity to one type of pain could be linked to a sensitivity to another?

Childbirth, said Mrs. Cameron, felt like a "tickle". She often relies on her husband alerting her to bleeding, being squeezed or burned, because nothing hurts.

When someone died near her, she felt sad, but "I'm not going to pieces." She can not remember ever being annoyed by anything – not even a recent car crash. In an anxiety disorder questionnaire she scored 0 out of 21 points.

When she was asked about her mental state, she wrote, "No, I've never been scared. I was always satisfied and happy.

Dr. Cox said he believed that the decreased anxiety of Mrs. Cameron was "due to increased signaling at CB1 receptors" or cannabinoid receptors, of which known is that they help the body cope with stress situations. (In particular, they are activated by the THC in cannabis.)

Block cannabinoid receptors and increase anxiety, increase cannabinoid receptors and decrease anxiety, Studies have shown receptors also affect how people experience physical pain.

No, it's more complicated and much research is needed said Dr. TH Eric Bui from the Center for Anxiety Disorders, Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complicated Mourning Programs on Massachusetts Gene Hospital. What we do know is that "brain regions that handle emotional and physical pain overlap."

In another example of how mysterious the two types of pain may be, he notes that acetaminophen (the active ingredient) In Tylenol, among other things, it has been shown to be the emotional pain associated with rejection , reduced.

Naomi Eisenberger, professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles Department believes it. Dr. Eisenberger examines the similarities in the way the brain handles bodily pain and the "social pain" that results from the rejection.

She said she has repeatedly stated that "people who are more sensitive to physical pain are more disturbed by rejection."


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