Suffering from an addiction has numerous implications, both emotionally and physically. When dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, a person will often suffer physical sickness either caused by the substance itself, or while going through withdrawal symptoms during a rehabilitation process, but have you wondered about physical pain addiction?
What happens when someone suffers from physical pain addiction? Contrary to popular belief, when a person practices self-harm they are not really addicted to the physical reaction to feeling pain (aches and/or bleeding), rather, they become addicted to the chemical reaction that it provokes; this means, physical pain addiction arises from the release of endorphins that accompany physical pain.
These endorphins, play a central role in how our nervous system works and they are a natural response to stimuli. These neurotransmitters have a very similar effect to opiates, like heroin or cocaine, and - at the end of the day - the rush they provoke serves to numb the actual physical pain that initially triggers them.
Having a physical pain addiction is often a reflection of deep, underlying psychological issues. This may be the only way in which a person can cope with personal problems, in which they can deal with unexpressed emotions or serve as a mean to release distress.
While someone suffering from a severe physical pain addiction may become or seem more withdrawn and/or isolated, one can identify certain things as signs of a pain addict. These may include:
These symptoms that serve as signs of a pain addict, do not mean that the person suffers from a mental illness. Instead, these are sings of emotional distress and imbalance.
When someone shows these signs of a pain addict, they don't necessarily represent a danger to people around them. In fact, they represent the need for an urgent and comprehensive treatment for pain addiction.
Being addicted to pain is a behavior that indicates a lack of coping skills for other underlying issues: depression, untreated bipolar disorder, anxiety, suffering from an eating disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A thorough treatment for pain addiction will tackle the underlying issue, while allowing the person to learn self-control, self-love and self-respect. When dealing with the unspoken issues that caused the pain addiction, an addict will need to learn new skills or mechanisms to confront them.
The first step to receive treatment for pain addiction is be open about the issue. The addict may feel extreme guilt and have the perception they will be judged, but truth is they need to feel comfortable and understood to be able to open up about the self-harm and what they feel may trigger it.
Talking to a family member can help leading someone in the right path, but speaking directly to a medical professional is highly recommended. A Psychotherapist or a Psychiatrist have the necessary training and know the necessary tools to handle this addiction and lead an addict into recovery.
Depending on the circumstance or factors that caused the pain addiction, the medical professional may refer medical treatment (medication), teach the addict new coping skills and self control when facing possible triggers, and recommend therapy as support.
The most important thing when noticing signs of a pain addict in someone you know, is understand that this person does not pose a threat to you, but are silently crying for help for an underlying emotional distress.
We can help you find the right treatment facility and rehab program that best suits your needs. Call Addiction Recovery Centers Newburgh today at (845) 245-2395.