Morris argues convincingly that our culture has embraced a "myth of the two
pains": belief mental and physical pain are totally different phenomena.
Common sense and science tell us that they, in fact, can not be
Pain, Morris writes, "is far more than simply or exclusively
a medical problem.
It can not be reduced to a mere transaction of the
nervous system but also shaped by such powerful cultural forces as gender,
religion and social class."
Consider the medieval Catholic
self-flagellator, the Iroquois warrior who defined his identity by his defiance
of torture, the American evasion of the discomfort.
response to pain can tell us a great deal.
A corporate or individual's
attitude toward pain can be revealing also.
Placing control of pain in
the hands of medical experts, making a sharp distinction between "mental" and
"physical" pain, using pain to fuel a profit-producing machine: these
contributed to the invention of heroin
as they did to aspirin."
The Birth of Heroin and the Demonization of
the Dope Fiend, Thomas A. Metzger
"It has been estimated
conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with
rheumatoid arthritis or
osteoarthritis every year in the US.
This figure is similar to the number of
deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome and considerably greater than the number of
from multiple myeloma,
cervical cancer, or Hodgkin's
disease." - J.S. Hochman, M.D., Executive Director of the National
Foundation for the Treatment of Pain 2003
anti-inflammatory drugs, usually abbreviated to NSAIDs, are drugs with
analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects - they reduce pain, fever
More than 100,000 people are hospitalized each year
because of adverse reactions to NSAIDs.
More than 15,000 people die,
often because of compliciations caused by bleeding or perforated ulcers.
Drugs in this class include ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®),
diclofenac (Cataflam®, Voltaren®), meloxicam (Mobic®), naproxen
(Aleve®, Naprosyn®) and indomethacin (Indocin®).
addition to digestive-tract damage,
NSAIDs can raise blood pressure and
increase the risk of heart
attack and stroke, as
well as injure kidneys and the
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