Thursday, March 7, 2013


 We know we have pain.
We know others have pain.
How do we really feel?

I was reading a study about the effects of looking at others in pain when you have a chronic pain condition like Fibromyalgia.

It was fascinating.

It wasn't a real involved study but it showed a side that we don't want to acknowledge. Maybe "side" isn't the right's more of a fear. When I starting thinking about it I have to say that I've done this.

So, what was this study?

The researchers wanted to see if people with Fibromyalgia had an abnormal neural response while observing pain in others. Yep, you guessed it. There was an abnormal response. It seems  that the Fibromyalgia brain showed a smaller neural response. 

What does this all mean?

We empathize with other peoples pain but we also fear it. That smaller neural response may very well be a shield. Smaller response may be our way of not catching someone else's pain. I know that sounds silly when you first hear it, but think about it. Is it possible in the hidden pathway of our brain there is a place where we steel ourselves against our pain when we see it in others? 

Can we be empathetic and yet keep that wall in place against feeling more pain? Or, are we afraid that we're too empathetic and those mirror-neurons will kick in and we will literally feel their pain?

Either way,

we have some weird goings on in the old brain.

I've been saying it.

They can say it's all in our heads....

They are exactly right.


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