Springingtiger's Blog


The Concept of Pain
May 16, 2013, 23:19
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve never really managed to get my head around the concept of pain. To be more precise, I am not sure at what point discomfort becomes pain. I assume that point varies from person to person, but I am at a loss to define what constitutes pain; is it perhaps any sensation eased by painkillers, buy that would include lesser sensations like itches. I frequently experience severe discomfort particularly in the presence of loud or discordant noise, but also, for many years, muscle aches and migraines. A migraine can prostrate me in a darkened room, but I am not sure whether it is pain, it occurs as inconvenience, I somehow expect pain to be worse. When my Son-in-law remarked to my daughter that I seemed to feel no pain when being tattooed, she reminded him that I used to get my teeth filled without anaesthetic, my new dentist is not so accommodating.
Acute pain is easier to identify both because it’s origin is usually more obvious, buy also its suddenness. It is the chronic discomfort that is harder to identify as pain, I think, because one gets used to it. When sensation is so intense it actually brings about a break in one’s ongoing interaction with the environment, then I think perhaps it may be called pain. I have some problems even with this as pleasure may do the same. I suppose, ultimately, whether an intense sensation is described as pleasure or pain, depends on whether it is welcome; perhaps it is only pain if I say it is. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am still not sure whether I have grasped the concept of pain.

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