Monday, May 16, 2016

Tylenol = other people's painkiller

Researcher's at Ohio State University found that using at least one type of over the counter painkiller decreases your assessment of other people's pain:

When you take acetaminophen to reduce your pain, you may also be decreasing your empathy for both the physical and social aches that other people experience, a new study suggests.

Researchers at The Ohio State University found, for example, that when participants who took acetaminophen learned about the misfortunes of others, they thought these individuals experienced less pain and suffering, when compared to those who took no painkiller.

“These findings suggest other people’s pain doesn’t seem as big of a deal to you when you’ve taken acetaminophen,” said Dominik Mischkowski, co-author of the study and a former Ph.D. student at Ohio State, now at the National Institutes of Health.
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In an earlier study, Way and other colleagues found that acetaminophen also blunts positive emotions like joy.
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While these results had not been seen before, they make sense in the light of previous research, Way said.

A 2004 study scanned the brains of people as they were experiencing pain and while they were imagining other people feeling the same pain. Those results showed that the same part of the brain was activated in both cases.

“In light of those results, it is understandable why using Tylenol to reduce your pain may also reduce your ability to feel other people’s pain as well,” he said.

The researchers are continuing to study how acetaminophen may affect people’s emotions and behavior, Way said. They are also beginning to study another common pain reliever – ibuprofen – to see if it has similar results.

This makes sense to me. I feel like I identify more with people and experience a stronger, more compelling cognitive empathy for people undergoing something that I can relate to. Because I haven't traditionally felt or acknowledge my feelings, is that why my empathy is so underdeveloped? I.e., does your experience feeling or having felt a particular thing directly relate to your ability to empathize? Is part of empathy just an emotional memory you're experiencing or a projection of our own current mental states on those of others?

42 comments:

  1. FIRST!!!

    WOO-HOO!!!

    ~Vegas

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  2. I think you're spot on ME. My hypothesis is that "empathy" is projection of our own experience.

    Suggest Mindsight by Dan Siegel. He explains how mirror neurons are part of resonance circuits connecting various centres, resonating right through the body (which is why people physically cringe at another's physical pain), then back up to the brain where we recognise the experience is not actually our own.

    My problem was in the last step - distinguishing my experience from others. I felt a lot of unnecessary pain. Result of enmeshment with parents. Resolved now.

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    1. So many of our errors in predicting behaviour result because we use our own operational model as the basis for our predictions.

      “Believing that others will react as we would is the single most dangerous myth of intervention” ~Gavin de Becker.

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    2. Waiting for dissonance to resolve itself may be the real hook that sociopaths employ. Its a lot like music. When dissonance resolves itself it is the most beautiful notes. We are all waiting for that.

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    3. Yes it's a lot like that. Nice analogy. And it's a very powerful hook

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    4. I find that the more I try to get in touch with my feelings, the better my experience generally becomes. Not only can I better understand people's emotional responses (At least to an extent, and still only on purpose, not reflexively) but it also helps to enhance my general experience of things. If it wasn't for the fact that my brain is already screwed up in ways other than a predisposition towards psychopathy, I probably wouldn't have learned to mature emotionally as much as I have now. Having these feelings to base my observations of the people around me on, it's much easier to navigate socially. So while I am not empathetic in the slightest, I can still become an empathetic person when required, but only as a conscious decision to do so. It helps to ease the mental burden of living in society, being as different as I am.

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    5. Anon 6:22 Yes, it is delicious music. Could you please elaborate on it being the real hook?

      Anon 9:50 I find the same. I'd repressed my feeling all my life; I feel like a child now, learning and growing. Everything works better when I allow my emotions to play out and inform my path.

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    6. Hello North. Hmmm I guess I got drawn in by the music. My ear was Listening-anticipating the way I knew it should sound. The best hooks musically contain the perfect amount of dissonance. Your ear really wants to hear the resolve.

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    7. That's strangely beautiful in a can't-look-away sense... I don't know much about music but have the gist of what you are saying.

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    8. I believe we all know the way things should sound. We all respond to music in the same way even if we understand why we do. Sociopaths seem to have an innate understanding of our need to hear the right notes. We can get caught waiting to hear them.

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    9. I think this analogy's so good. It's exactly what they do and we are caught always waiting for that (and expecting it! They're masterful at that)

      I don't know if this will make it any clearer North (it's MT here btw) but she touches on it here in this snippit of a masterclass about Bach. The resolve is only in the very last note. Imagine if it never came.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nByyIZJebbQ

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    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    11. That was ridiculously rambling... combination of juggling five things at work and being really quite excited at the potential applications and usefulness of the idea.

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  3. kidcudisogood.ENG.//May 16, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    Ummmmmmmmmm.......yaaahhhhhhh. im gonna head in a diff direction now. Its been real, its been interesting, it been real interesting. I would like to thank the academy and of course the AP. Without them none if this would be possible.

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  4. Acetaminophen blocks the proper activation of the 'pain center' in your brain. (Therefore reducing certain kinds of pain)

    Affective empathy activates the 'pain center' in your brain when you see pain (in others).

    I don't see how this has much to do with the topic of projection...

    Tho I'm not sure about the second statement I gave; does it mean (neurotypical) people are actually in pain when they watch someone they suspect to be in pain? Must be awful. I mean, what idiotic mechanism is this? I can't even imagine how this could be possible without driving you crazy. (Tho it'd open up a whole new set of torture techniques...)

    I'll just conclude I got something wrong regarding affective empathy.... Unless you empaths now tell me you feel physical, actual pain when you see it in others.

    Sorry, sounds just too fantastic for me to fully believe it.

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    1. "I'll just conclude I got something wrong regarding affective empathy.... Unless you empaths now tell me you feel physical, actual pain when you see it in others."

      No, not physical pain (speaking for myself). Emotional pain can be acutely painful though... i can feel like physical pain, just that you're not feeling it in any part of your flesh (if that makes sense). I'd say that seeing others suffer can be like that.

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    2. It can actually feel quite physical...like physical pain without a physical location, or as if it's in the centre of your being - even the centre of your body / torso, maybe... (when extreme, which isn't very often in my experience. much more often just emotional discomfort, or sadness). It's like an ache, a physical ache, at it's worst, at the centre of you.

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    3. I addressed this above. It's a cringing feeling for me.

      It interests me: do sociopaths not feel this cringing? Anon 8:49 has used a good example.

      Also, pain killers relieve personal emotional pain too. There are plenty of studies on that. This is another link in the explanatory chain.

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    4. Hey NM!!!

      "Affective empathy activates the 'pain center' in your brain when you see pain (in others)."

      This is true. It's why neurotypicals say "I feel your pain".

      "I can't even imagine how this could be possible without driving you crazy."

      It can drive us crazy. When neurotypicals are frustrating/angering psychopaths/sociopaths, please try to think of this, and hopefully-have mercy on us.:)

      "(Tho it'd open up a whole new set of torture techniques...)"

      Yes, it does.

      "I'll just conclude I got something wrong regarding affective empathy.... Unless you empaths now tell me you feel physical, actual pain when you see it in others.

      Sorry, sounds just too fantastic for me to fully believe it."

      It is true. The length, severity, and sensation of the pain varies greatly amongst individuals and situations.

      Pain management is important. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good for physical pain-prescription drugs are better.:)

      Scarlet-Do you want to be my Best Friend???

      ~Vegas

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    5. NM-

      PS-I can actually "feel your power", every time you post.:) I can also "feel your excitement", at the discovery, of new torture techniques.:)

      ~Vegas

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    6. Psychopaths/Sociopaths-

      Not that I'd ever want to "torture" a psychopath/sociopath (or anyone, for that matter), but is there anything you find "torturous"???

      ~Vegas

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    7. The word "situation", reminded me of this song:

      Situation

      ~Vegas

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  5. No I think to mirror actual pain is impossible. Its more like when a guy sees another guy getting kicked in the balls.

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  6. This might add to the thesis that people empathize with (only?) what or whom they can relate to.

    A man with schizoid personality dirsorder talks about his emotional apathy (I.e. not 'suffering' any feeling, excitement or enthusiasm, not experiencing either affection or anger):
    "I've no real emotional relations with people. I can't reciprocate tenderness. I can cry and suffer with people. I can help people, but when they stop suffering I'm finished. I can't enter into folks' joy and laughter."
    His therapist says:
    "His suffering with people was in fact his identifying himself as a suffering person with anyone else who suffered. Apart from that he allowed no emotional relationship to arise. [...] What looks deceptively like genuine feeling for another person, is in fact based on identification with the other person and is mainly a feeling of anxiety and pity for oneself." (Schizoid phenomena, Harry Guntrip)

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  7. Well this certainly helps explain why all those junkies addicted to Vicodin are such jerks when they're trying to get me to give them refills. It's not just the psychological/physical addiction apparently they also don't have empathy.

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    1. That's funny! ;-)

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    2. Hey Scarlet-

      I am not a junkie or addicted to Vicodin, but I do like it.:) I've only been prescribed it twice in my life-once for wisdom teeth extraction, and once, for a recent surgery.

      I don't know where you live, but I think another part of the problem is that people do become easily addicted, so doctors are becoming quite "tight fisted", with their prescriptions.:( After the recent surgery I had, I couldn't even get 1 refill!!! I legitimately could have used 1 refill, and was quite annoyed, I couldn't get one. I found it to be "inhumane".:( I have to admit, I did attempt to get a refill from the pharmacist, and I think they wanted to give it to me, but couldn't because of the laws.:( I wasn't a jerk, but empathy and manners are lower when you are in pain and can't get what you need, so I wasn't as nice as I usually am.

      I can imagine what jerks people are, when they aren't as "naturally nice" as I am, or when they are junkies.:(

      It is a difficult situation for doctors, pharmacists, patients, etc. The idea is to be humane and manage peoples' pain, but addiction is also so common.:(

      ~Vegas

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    3. Scarlet-

      PS-I am glad I am not able to prescribe, or work around prescription drugs.

      I can see how easy it would be, to become and addict.:(

      ~Vegas

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    4. ^that should have read "an addict"...

      ~Vegas

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  8. In unrelated sociopath news...

    I was having some cocktails while cleaning out the DVR over the weekend. When I got to last week's Inside Amy Schumer, guess who Amy interviewed in the Amy Goes Deep segment? Yes, that's right. M.E. was. Her face was pixelated and her voice was altered. She should've worn the blonde wig from Dr. Phil. It would've been hysterical.


    Here's a sociopathic pic I thought was funny:

    https://i.imgur.com/f27pXfe.jpg


    I just can't get away from sociopath stuff.

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    1. Damaged-

      I like your sense of humor.:)

      You make me giggle.:)

      I've never watched "Inside Amy Schumer", but I've thought about it, on many occasions.:)

      Thanks for sharing, that M.E. was on the "Amy Goes Deep" segment.:)

      M.E.-Why did you "hold out" on us???

      That would've been hysterical, if M.E. would've worn the blonde wig, from the Dr. Phil show!!! That's where I saw M.E., and subsequently, discovered this blog.:) I haven't read her book yet, but I plan to.:)

      Thanks for sharing the funny pic, too!!!

      My husband loves Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert, all sorts of comics, etc.:)

      I hope you keep sharing!!!

      P.S. I think there is 1 less 6-toed cat at the Hemingway House these days. Don't worry-I won't tell.:)

      ~Vegas

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    2. "That would've been hysterical, if M.E. would've worn the blonde wig, from the Dr. Phil show!!!"

      Especially if they pixelated her while she had the wig on. :P


      She should do an intreview like this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgjbBNTQq5Y

      Just glare at the interviewer.


      I must've missed some Winnie The pooh books when I was a little kid:

      https://imgur.com/VdL3N3j


      And a Calvin & Hobbes one:

      http://i.imgur.com/ljT677U.jpg



      "
      P.S. I think there is 1 less 6-toed cat at the Hemingway House these days. Don't worry-I won't tell.:)"

      I'm building my army. ;)

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    3. Hey Damaged-

      "Especially if they pixelated her while she had the wig on. :P"

      ...and altered her voice!!! HA!!! LOL!!!

      "Just glare at the interviewer."

      OMG!!! THAT WAS HYSTERICAL!!!

      M.E. should do an interview like that.:) I couldn't stop laughing!!! M.E. should wear the blonde wig, and just stare at the interviewer, and be mute.:) HA!!! LOL!!!

      "I must've missed some Winnie The pooh books when I was a little kid:"

      I missed some, too.:) That cracked me up!!!

      The Calvin & Hobbes was AWESOME!!!

      If only we all had a "Hobbes", to "maul the motherfuckers for us".:)

      PS-"The 6-toed cat count" at "The Hemingway House", is now down 2. You are building your army!!!

      ~Vegas

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  9. I can't help but think of the implications of empathy numbing drugs. Reminds me Big Brother.

    "This makes sense to me. I feel like I identify more with people and experience a stronger, more compelling cognitive empathy for people undergoing something that I can relate to."

    This is true of all people, empaths and sociopaths (I think) included. It's only natural and makes complete sense. The only difference is an empath feels even more empathy for someone they can closely relate to. I think this partly explains why I feel more sorry for my former socio friend than I do for my socio relatives. I knew him for less than a year and my relatives all my life but because he's gay and that's been such a big part of my experience, my tolerance & overlooking of his sociopathic traits is much higher.

    "Because I haven't traditionally felt or acknowledge my feelings, is that why my empathy is so underdeveloped?"

    That's definitely part of it. You have to acknowledge your feelings, especially the ones that hurt a lot. These are of two kinds: 1) pain inflicting by others, 2) guilt resulting from your (not you as in M.E.) wrongdoing to others. Successfully tacling the former makes you stronger, respect yourself more, and toughens you up while simultaneously making you more empathic. The latter requires some correction: you need some relief from those you've wronged. You need them, and God, to forgive you so that you can remove that burden from your unconscience. You can avoid it but you can never erase it from your harddrive, ever, no matter what.

    "I.e., does your experience feeling or having felt a particular thing directly relate to your ability to empathize?"

    Yes. First and foremost, you need to be shown empathy to learn it & retain it. That is exactly why the traditional family unit was (and is where it still thrives) one where the mother's primary "job" was child rearing. I put that in quotes because it is much, much more than any job. It is the single most important task any human being is entrusted with and requires the most empathy. It's not a coincidence that kids are turning fat, bored, and apathetic as more women are shunning what they naturally do best.

    P.S. I ordered Megafood tablets for my mom and grandpa today and just noticed the AD here. Why I needed to share this I don't know.

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    1. "Yes. First and foremost, you need to be shown empathy to learn it & retain it."

      I don't mean mere empathy. I mean genuine affection...when you can feel & sense it's genuine. Your mind relaxes and you feel at ease in the company. It's getting rarer and rarer to find this outside the family unit and even families are starting to lose this.

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  10. Ho hum very interesting....my father is addicted to Tylenol 1 for most of his life. Which I never found a problem it helped him move and maneuver through his job. But he popped them in like candy. I'm gunna go visit him and before you know it he'll be making me a cup of tea, some soup and offering me a Tylenol one for pain. Lol.

    I don't take pain pills regularly , only sporadically, watching my dad caught my eye to never be that pill addictive. But I never judged him for doing it, I just never wanted to pop pills regularly. Some people have too. It was like a warning to me. You pop these suckers in and they grab a hold of your brain to keep being dependant. But my dad can protest to acetaminophen helping him get through life, which I can't help but listen to him because his pain level was so constant.

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  11. M.E.-

    Regarding your tweet:

    "Most people would never kill an animal, but will happily gobble down a burger. They outsource it."

    Absolutely!!!

    It helps, when your husband hunts and fishes, too.:)

    ~Vegas

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    1. PS-

      I think hunting is one of the ways, my husband is "visceral", as "A" would say.:)

      ~Vegas

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    2. PSS-

      I only eat a small amount of meat, but oh-there's nothing like fresh caught salmon or halibut!!!

      YUMMY!!!

      ~Vegas

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    3. M.E.-Regarding your tweet:

      "The wolf does not care what sheep think of him. We do not care what cows think of us as we eat our burger."

      You are correct.:)

      Although I don't eat meat often, the other night, I had an AWESOME FILET MIGNON!!! It was delicious.:)

      I thought about the cow, for about a millisecond.:)

      Ah, yes-a yummy burger is good every once in awhile, too!!! It is especially fun to BBQ, when the weather is nice!!!

      ~Vegas

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  12. Those of you with genie buddies ("energy") really ought to reflect on this:

    "And the day on which We will cause the mountains to pass away and you will see the earth a levelled plain and We will gather them and leave not any one of them behind.

    And they shall be brought before your Lord, standing in ranks: Now certainly you have come to Us as We created you at first. Nay, you thought that We had not appointed to you a time of the fulfillment of the promise.

    And the Book shall be placed, then you will see the guilty fearing from what is in it, and they will say: Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! it does not omit a small one nor a great one, but numbers them (all); and what they had done they shall find present (there); and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone.

    And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers.

    I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own souls; nor could I take those who lead (others) astray for aiders.

    And on the day when He shall say: Call on those whom you considered to be My associates. So they shall call on them, but they shall not answer them, and We will cause a separation between them.

    And the guilty shall see the fire, then they shall know that they are going to fall into it, and they shall not find a place to which to turn away from it."

    Qur'an 18: 47-53

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  13. It's a thing of joy to have someone on earth who God almighty has sent to redeem and help those that are in captivity. My husband divorced me but Doctor Osemu Okpamen recently saved my broken marriage again. You can find more on my blog-post here ( http://wagnerjessi.blogspot.com ) about how my marriage was reunited. Wagner Jessi, UK, Hampshire.

    ReplyDelete

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