Social Rejection: a Painful Effect
A new study has found that social rejection has the same effect as pain on the brain. Researchers found that experiencing an intense emotional ache activates the same processing pathway in the brain that physical pain does.
Ethan Kross, PhD, stated that this provides a new understanding for social rejection. He made the comparison with spilling coffee and looking at the picture of somebody you just had a tough breakup with. Hot coffee will cause physical pain, and the breakup surprisingly will send the same message to the brain.
The study was based on 40 participants that had gone through a tough romantic breakup in the last six months. It was reported that all of them said to feel deeply rejected when they thought about their breakup.
To analyze the emotional experience, they were showed a picture of their previous partner and were asked to describe how their breakup unfolded. To analyze the physical experience, they were asked to hold a very hot cup of coffee.
With the help of the MRI they were able to detect that the same areas of the brain were lighted up. These were reported as being the dorsal posterior insula and the secondary somatosensory cortex which both have been associated with the processing of physical pain.
Kross added that strong feelings of social rejection are evidently comparable to physical pain. He stated that studies of emotion normally do not activate these regions. This explains that rejection is a distinct emotion that can affect us more than what we may think. The dejected people were mostly found to prefer isolation, with finding relief in sites like casinos-singapore.com or browsing randomly on net.
It was also stated that the findings suggest that there might be overlapping sensory mechanisms taking place in the brain. Researchers that further studies should be performed in order to validate their findings. However this may provide a new perspective on social rejection and how it can affect a person’s life since it can be associated with physical pain symptoms and problems.
Treat Depression with Placebo Medicine
A lot of studies have been made, from the seventies to this day, on the efficiency of anti depressive drugs on patients with depression. Less than fifty percent proved to be efficient and even Prozac, a famous anti depressive drug, had to do five tests until two of them had positive results.
On the other hand, the herb based treatments also proved their utility in depression protocols during the last years. Both conventional and herbal treatments had been combined with psychological sessions to help guide the patient through the recovery process. More attention from the doctor seemed to be more important in the outcome of the disease than the medicine itself.
This has been observed in most double blind tests done with anti depressive versus placebo pills. The patients treated with placebo had the same recovery rate if not better than the ones using anti depressives. In order to determine how much of this improvement was due to the placebo effect, some of the patients were told that they were not on medication. From that moment, almost immediately, the illness of those people receded.
The doctor needs to be closer than ever to his patients and the relationship between the physician and the person has to change to an association based on understanding and working together to find the cure. This type of treatments of depression is safer and more efficient, without the side effects of the classic anti depressive pills.
A patient should never take the responsibility of a treatment in his or her own hands. Auto treatment can be more dangerous than the disease itself and makes it more difficult to treat afterwards. New techniques that involve more time with the doctor and less drugs are developed every day in order to stimulate the capacity of a person’s mind to heal itself.
MS Patients: Medical Marijuana Might Impair Thinking
As per a research, multiple sclerosis (abbreviated as MS) patients that have been using marijuana as part of their treatments are more likely to experience cognitive impairment. This was compared to MS patients that do not use marijuana and it was found that the ones that used are in fact twice as likely to suffer thinking impairment.
Some MS patients choose marijuana to treat their many symptoms such as pain and constipation. Studies have shown that about 60 percent of MS patients experience difficulties with memory, attention, and learning.
Unfortunately these difficulties could be worsened by the long time use of marijuana as a treatment. This was explained by Anthony Feinstein, PhD, from Sunnybrook Health Services. He stated that the patients might be sacrificing their cognitive abilities by trying to fight their present ailments.
However marijuana has had many advocates in the medical community. One of them is Montel Williams who used to be a talk show host. He has stated that the use of medical marijuana helped him get his life back. Before being on marijuana for treatment, he was under treatment with OxyContin and morphine which almost destroyed his kidneys and his liver. He has taken the task to lobby lawmakers in backing up the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
The study was done in two groups of MS patients, for a total of 50 subjects. One group had been receiving regular treatment with marijuana for many years and other had not. They were all compared for education level, age, IQ prior to study, sex, disability level, and the years of MS suffering. Patients who had been taking Marinol, or any other kind of artificial cannabinoid, were not included in the study since such treatments didn’t include a psychoactive component.
It was reported that the average use of marijuana was 26 years; 72 percent of the patients smoked it on a daily basis while 24 percent did it on a weekly basis. They all underwent the same type of testing in order to measure their mental functioning.
Feinstein reported that the performance of those who were on the marijuana treatment was notably worse than those who weren’t. He added that in general, 32 percent of the non-users showed measurable impairments severe enough to be considered cognitive impaired; marijuana users scored a higher percentage of 64.
Researchers advised that further testing is needed in order to confirm these results. Marijuana users still defend their drug stating that no other treatment is able to relieve their symptoms.