A Conversation for Nociception - Pain

To associate or dissociate?

Post 1

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

The entry mentions dissociation, distraction or just plain taking your mind off it as a way of dealing with pain. For sure, dissociation or denial is a way we often have of dealing with something unpleasant. But is it such a good thing? I have heard it suggested that it's worth trying the opposite - association.

This would mean that you really concentrate on the pain, try to get to 'know' it, track it down to precisely where it seems to be, decide how bad or mild it is, consider in detail what its precise character is, what it is doing to you, even try to visualise it in terms of shape, size, colour, tactile feel, and so on. Examine your attitude towards the pain (implying that you and the pain are separate entities), try to work out what the physical sensation of it is doing to you emotionally. For example, you could start thinking about whether you think you 'deserve' it or not, and what your answer to this question means in terms of your relationship to your pain. And so on.


To associate or dissociate?

Post 2

Sea Change

I want to respond to what you are asking metaphorically, because giving you a direct response is too complex, and it would take too much time to deconstruct.

I find this kind of thought you are suggesting requires very little active will, as if I were pre-wired to do just that, or as if that is where the sweet spot of my brain's automatic transmission is, or as if there are only 9 available brainchannels to tune into, and on five of them, whether I wish to watch the programme or not, the subject is the pain.

When I followed that route, I become boring, with only 4 channels to react to life and other people with, or become rutted in to certain routes that I know my body's transmission is capable of handling, and make animal wired in responses to new situations, even if they are insane.

Kicking pain in the a** is a more useful philosophical construct for me, and, the people who have this attitude that I know, are more worthy of the limited energy and friendship I can give out. You also get better medical treatment this way.

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