Posted by bsj on December 6, 2003, at 21:08:27
In reply to Re: Opioids for depression, posted by Burnedout on December 6, 2003, at 14:55:13
"Maybe there is something about our brains that doesn't distinguish between physical and emotional pain. That would explain why pain medicine works for us in relieving the "pain" of depression."
There is no distinction between mental and physical pain; the traditional Cartesian mind-body distinction doesn't hold (you'd think that scientists, of all people, would give up this silly mental vs. physical dichotomy). Mental pain is the same suffering as physical pain, but without the localized sensation of pain. Next time you're physically hurting and take an opiate, study closely what happens: the pain doesn't suddenly vanish; you can still sense it there, but the suffering is gone. It's not causing you to suffer anymore. Opiates don't diminish localized sensations of pain; rather, they diminish suffering, whether there's a localized sensation of pain or not.