Pain can be described as piercing drilling burning

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Pain can be described as piercing, drilling, burning, grinding, throbbing, stinging, squeezing, and so on. Each of the descriptors implies the presence of a weapon or weapon-like object that can injure the body —the drill that drills, the fire that burns. And since most patients have never been stabbed or shot or are not being stabbed or shot at the moment of pain, they are using these terms figuratively to objectify what would otherwise be difficult to pin down and represent; now they could see pain and describe how it feels by talking about knives and guns and the damage they can do the body . People with psychological pain use the very same metaphors to describe their experiences . Dan Vento, silenced for so long by the incapacitating pain of loss , will eventually open up to a psychiatrist. It felt like a bomb , he explained, that exploded inside of him , obliterating everything in his body. At other times, he felt the damage was occurring more slowly and methodically, as if there were a swarm of parasites eating away at his organs . But either way, the result was the same for Vento: he was being emptied out from the inside —“gutted” was the word he used— until all that was left was a big, raw gaping wound . When her husband died and she was flooded with grief, Joan Didion saw giant waves. In her memoir, she writes that she felt as if she were being battered by “destructive waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life” (Didion 2005, pp. 27–28). For Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist who suffers from manic depression, the weapon is a giant centrifuge, containing tubes of her blood. It spins around her mind faster and faster, out of control, until it explodes, splattering blood everywhere (Jamison 1996, p. 80). Listening to the language of pain of all
kinds, we discover a shared felt structure that the weapon metaphor effectively captures (Biro 2010, pp. 79–96). Whether triggered by grief and depression or kidney stones and spinal injury, pain reads like a story in three parts: Weapon --> [ to ] Injury --> [ to ] Withdrawal In pain we feel as if there must be some weapon-like object (bomb, swarm of parasites, giant wave, centrifuge) that is moving toward and threatening us; that when it strikes, it will injure, possibly even destroy us; and that we must get away from it or shield ourselves at all costs. Even when there is nothing coming at us, when there is no injury, when we remain motionless, we feel the movement, the injury and the desire to run . Whatever happens that makes us feel these things—the loss of a loved one or the physical destruction of cancer—we experience pain . New Objective Evidence The subjective evidence for the existence of emotional pain is compelling, especially since there is no objective way to verify and characterize someone else’s pain . Although we can attach a person to a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) device, observe the blood flow to pain centers in the brain and then infer its presence, the only definitive test is a person’s word: I feel pain or I don’t. Actually, most experts

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