By Bella Dodds
Oh what a fun conversation: Pain vs. Pleasure! Well it could be if pain wasn’t such a taboo subject. But what better place to present this repressed issue then on a website created to have the very conversation that goes exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction from societal norms? So here we go we’ll see what happens. I am a bit curious.
Our society has evolved to provide us with infinite forms of pleasure. Would you agree? The comforting agents call out to us in ever-growing forms of smart phones, computers and ipads where we stream movies, TV shows, Youtube clips, porn and reality shows anytime, anywhere. It takes a lot of discipline nowadays to resists the many comforts of video games, 1,000 cable channels, comfort foods, alcohol, pain killers, prescription medications, pot, or more extreme drugs…you name it we’ve got it and more numbing forms are on the way.
We are a pleasure seeking, pain escaping, and drug popping culture. But through seeking pleasure and avoiding pain we inadvertently cause ourselves a hell of a lot more suffering. The more we try to numb pain the more pain runs us and the more intense we feel the back lash.
I think we should talk about this thing called pain because this is the opposite of what we do in our society. What might happen if we got somewhat comfortable with the uncomfortable and put pain out on the table and had a healthy, open philosophical conversation about it? I mean we all deal with it even though we try to hide it.
Recently, I read some shocking statistics posted by Dr. Lisa Goodman on her blog for Wash Park Chiropractic on how our children today are dealing with pain and stress:
Children today are responding to emotional stressors in ways that we can’t imagine and generally don’t understand. Recent studies have shown that over 10% of all teenagers are self-mutilating, and of this number, 64% are “cutting”. Despite the appearance, self-mutilation is not a precursor to suicide, but according to the young people who will talk about it, “it is the only thing that makes [them] feel better.” Additional studies are finding that about 20% of all teenagers are experiencing depression. What used to be just typical teenage angst is becoming a problem of epidemic proportions. Less than 1/3 of these teens will seek help, and statistically 30% of them will develop a substance abuse problem in an effort to drown their feelings in a drug-induced haze or stupor.
What is being done?: Many parents have turned to the medical profession for help with their children, which typically includes drug-therapy. The problem with the typical modern medicine routine is that most anti-depressants are being prescribed off-label to children. Since they haven’t been tested on children, doctors are making a best-guess as to the correct dosage. Studies published in 2004 found that there is an increased risk in suicide for children ages 10-18 who are taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
I was talking to my cousin who is 16 years old and she said most of her friends were on anti-depressants and that her best friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend needed to get on anti-depressants because of her heart break. I went to high school with two individuals who sadly just died this past year due to addictions to pain killers, alcohol and possibly other drugs. They were both in their 30’s. What is going on in our society?
How much are medications or abundant forms of escaping pleasure weakening us at our core? How much is it costing our culture, health and our future? This is something I wonder about. I am not suggesting comfort and pleasure is bad all the time – certainly not. Merely, that the many forms of pleasure being used in great excess to repress our pain and numb us out is causing a VERY big problem.
Matt Stone asked me to contribute on 180 because he wanted me to open up a dialogue about dealing with stress in a healthy way. As a site author on 180 I will be exploring the many subjects around pain, mental and emotional stress and how we can learn to deal with these daily life ingredients in effective and beneficial ways. It will be an on-going investigation and conversation that I am looking forward to having as I feel it is an ESSENTIAL topic of our times. In 2014 I plan to interview experts in their fields to really delve into this topic because in my heart I know there is an answer. And there better be because our kids are showing us we have a big problem. Yes a lot of it is diet related I agree, but it is also being bullied at school, dealing with parents who are greatly stressed, body image complexes, and on and on…so how do we deal with stress in a healthy way and how can we help our kids deal with it better?
Pain can feel heavy and drab to talk about but it really doesn’t have to be. I hope to make it less heavy if possible. Curious what some of your thoughts are about it.
- How do you think we deal with stress in our society?
- What do you think the repercussions are going to be if we stay on the same course?
- How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed?
- Do you avoid pain and seek pleasure and is this habit inadvertently causing you to suffer?
- Do you ever feel like you can’t accomplish all that you would like because of a daily tendency to retreat into your comfort zone?
Would love to create a healthy dialogue about a taboo subject as I believe this conversation has very meaningful potential…
Bella Dodds is a Integrative Health Coach. She uses advanced methodologies that allow her clients to get to the core root of stress creating disharmony in their physiology and psychology. You can contact Bella for a 15 minute complimentary consultation to discuss areas of in your life you would like to improve using her Higher Mind Health methods. Bella works nationally and internationally via phone or Skype. To set up a consult click HERE. Serious inquiries only please.