Over-the-counter painkiller could alleviate emotional pain – but should you use it?

Drugs, Science

Over-the-counter painkiller could alleviate emotional pain – but should you use it?

Drugs, Science

19.2.2020

Over-the-counter painkiller could alleviate emotional pain – but should you use it?

A study has suggested that a readily available pill can ease heartache but there are other ways to address your mental health

Nothing quite hurts like a broken heart. But it turns out something could help: over-the-counter pain medication. On Tuesday, Forbes reported on a new study showing that taking painkillers can reduce the severity of emotional pain caused by rejection. This adds to a body of literature showing that acetaminophen (paracetamol in the UK) dampens emotional pain better than taking nothing at all. Researchers at UCLA followed 42 participants over a three-week period, who took either a placebo, no treatment or paracetamol twice a day and answered a questionnaire about their feelings. The results showed that “highly forgiving” individuals saw an 18.5% reduction in “social pain” over three weeks if they were taking acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol. There are holes in this study. First of all, not everyone can be highly forgiving. Second, the researchers note themselves that the sample size is tiny; and third, it is possible that the participants were reporting back on different types of social pain – as researchers did not ask what they were feeling down about. But it does add to a body of research that shows that acetaminophen dulls emotional pain – potentially because similar brain circuitry is engaged when we feel physical pain. Which leads to the question – if you can use pain medication to deal with emotional pain, does it follow that you should? Silvia Dutchevici, a therapist from New York, warns against it: “Let’s say you have a break-up and you have a broken heart, I think you should be sad! That’s human!” she says. But what if you get your heart broken on the same day as an exam? Is taking a painkiller for heartache really that different from taking it for a headache? Dutchevici says that such scenarios might be a good example of when it actually makes sense to take a painkiller to dull pain. But, she warns, you have to be honest with yourself. “It’s over-the-counter so people can access it whenever. Which means they really need to ask – is it just going to be one day? Or is it something you are going to start doing every week? We shouldn’t forget that amany people who ended up addicted to opioids in the US started out looking for a quick fix.” Tylenol isn’t addictive like opioids, but it has detrimental effects on the liver – it is the top cause of acute liver failure in the western world. Many people have accidentally overdosed or been poisoned by Tylenol in the last few years, including 95,000 related hospitalisations in Australia between 2007 and 2017. Dutchevici also points to a common double standard that people have around physical versus emotional pain. If you were taking painkillers for a headache for three days we might think that’s OK, but most of us would go to the doctor if we were still doing it a week later. Why not the same for emotional pain? “There is a lot of stigma around mental health that tells us we shouldn’t get help – but why not?” she says. For Dutchevici, human pain is part of the healing process. Importantly, when we numb pain, we numb our chances of healing. “Let’s say it’s a breakup. You take a pill, now you feel better and guess what? You’re gonna repeat the same thing. You miss the opportunity to really learn what a healthy relationship should look like,” she says. Instead of reaching for a pill, we should remember that pain is sometimes necessary to instigate change, she says. “Pain reminds us of things we need to work on. It drives us to change ourselves and the world.” So what to do when you next have a broken heart? Dutchevici recommends talking – and not necessarily with a professional. In fact, Dutchevici says that anyone – friends, a religious leader, your local bartender – are good options when trying to work through emotional pain. There is just one key ingredient: introspection. “It’s within human relationships that you get to work out some of your issues. But that is not gonna happen with a pill,” she says. Topics Read more: The Guardian

People didn't 'end up addicted to opioids in the US' because they were 'looking for a quick fix'. They were prescribed them by their doctors who knew full well they were unnecessarily strong but made more money prescribing them than over the counter alternatives. Yes please. I get nightmares with some brands but not sure why. I won't take any.

Over the counter opioids-yes please people would be easier to control. While we're at it why is adderoll (speed) not commonly prescribed in Australia? It should be available over the counter as well. America claims it has an opioid epidemic but everyone is hooked on Adderoll. And perhaps we should disregard the growing list of side effects, the potential for overdosing, the difficulty in monitoring the patients condition, interactions with other medications, plus other issues...?

Acetominophen can be toxic to the liver. Harming your liver will bring you lots of emotional pain down the road. Better to just dive into the Mocha Almond Fudge and find some nice simple superhero movie with a happy ending to watch. 🙃😉 Tylenol will perforate your liver FoodForThought here on the brokenheart 💔dilemma 😘 ... I recommend good tunes thebritawards good friends & tears 😭 of laughter &/or sorrow ... maybe a few beers 🍻 or vinos 🥂 to avoid the blues 💙 plus a dogwalk everytime 🐕‍🦺😊

The Guardian, one of the biggest fan of Oxyc..... You and your friends helped drug abuses Alcohol? No I carry my pain and learn from it. By experiencing emotional pain in myself, I learn to recognise it in others which means I am better able to help them

The real meaning behind the word 'spinster' and the secret ways it's still used todayA brief history of the word 'spinster' and how it's still used today My mum used the word spinster a lot when she told stories about herself describing when she was unmarried, young and single. Seems like an old classic word not used very much by women.

nope never. So were going for an over medicated nation type thing like the states are we?

Do voters need therapy?Psychotherapy might have the answers about why we are so emotional about politics. Dems need therapy. TheBestisYettocome no but they should have a minimum IQ test to vote , which would remove most DEMS Yes, because WHAT THE FUCK

Girl, 8, dies after being 'raped by 16 men'Sixteen men were reportedly arrested after the girl’s mum went to police in 2019 claiming that up to 16 male relatives had raped her child over a period of three years. Britains answer, is to keep quiet when these people do it here, and call anyone 'Racist' if they dare to mention it. I would have cut it off, for the first child, I would have killed all the other relatives one by one. A mother is to protect her children. Are these relatives catholics by any chance as our Church is full of peadiophiles PREACHING to us what we should be , flaming hypocrits I wish people like these rapists would drop dead. How sad. 😞

Love Island returns with Iain Stirling's emotional tribute to 'warm and passionate' Caroline Flack after tragic deathLOVE Island returned tonight with an emotional tribute to Caroline Flack from her friend Iain Stirling after her tragic death. Devastated narrator Iain fought back tears as he described the late st… Suprised you lot haven’t already tried to dig him out and ridicule him over it 🤷‍♂️ You partially caused it. How dare you mention her name again in your sorry excuse of a news source

Searching for a way to defeat Trump | LettersLetters: Moderate leftists need an argument and an inspiring leader, writes John Pawsey, while Dariel Francis says the threat of populism is best countered with a dose of Keynesian economics It’s a real shame that his narcissistic, lying, cheating actions can’t do it ..😔 Does the guardian know this is a UK media outlet? How about coming up with some decent policies ? 🤷‍♂️

Share your experiences of emotional affairsIf you or your partner have had an emotional affair, we’d like to hear about it. Share your stories Damn you’re trying to get ppl in trouble today? Why share with a newspaper, as you call it, 'experiences of emotional affairs', which is nothing more than voluntarily handing over your own and someone else's private life to a newspaper. No doubt many will. Isn't this tabloid 'reporting', you know, the type you are calling to be banned ?



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