The Link Between Physical and Emotional Pain
The United States has been in an opioid epidemic for nearly two decades now, and New Jersey is one of the most impacted areas. The epidemic started with opioids being marketed as a non-addictive prescription pain killer, but this wasn’t true. Currently, Big Pharma companies like Purdue and Johnson & Johnson have been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars for misleading the public about these drugs. Although addictive, these medications have been able to help people who struggle with chronic pain. But the reason so many people turn to these drugs may have to do with the link between physical and emotional pain.
The Science of Physical and Emotional Pain
We all know that physical pain is no fun. Whether you’re injured in an accident or have to get surgery, many of us would rather not be in pain, and this is why so many people were drawn to drugs like opioids. What neuroscience has found out through numerous brain scans is that the same parts of our brain light up when we experience emotional pain. When we feel rejected and alone, our brain responds in the same way as though we were feeling physical pain.
In one study, they had people play a computer game with two other people. In the game, the participant would pass the ball back and forth with the other two participants. What the participant didn’t know was that the other two participants were computers. After a while, the two computers start passing to each other. What researchers found is that when a person feels left out, their brain lights up as though they are experiencing physical pain.
The Loss of Connection
In a time where we’re more connected than ever before through social media, addiction rates are extremely high because so many people still feel alone. Recently, psychologists and therapists have been calling certain types of deaths the “deaths of despair”. Currently, more people are dying from drug and alcohol than ever before, and a major reason is due to the lack of connection people feel. When you understand how isolated and alone people are feeling, it’s no wonder that people are turning to drugs like opioids as a way to relieve their emotional pain.
Learning a New Way of Living
If you’re looking to stay sober, you must learn how to manage your emotional pain in a new way. One of the best ways you can do this is by surrounding yourself with people who love you. Next, you’ll need to work with a therapist to find the other sources of your emotional pain. You may be struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or trauma, which is causing you emotional pain that you were trying to self-medicate. Luckily, when you’re in treatment, you work with a therapist who can help you discover healthy ways to cope with these types of pain so you can build a new life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Enlightened Solutions Detox can help. We’re a holistic treatment facility that can help you on the road to recovery while you gain the tools you need to achieve long-term recovery. Give us a call today at 833-233-7336 for more information.