Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

Taj Taher

Honors 222 C
1 April 2015
Session 1 Thought Piece
In my family, my mother and I sit at two ends of a spectrum. While my mother is often
heard groaning on a day-to-day basis, I remain silent. While my mother pops a pair of pills when
she feels the slightest malaise, I will refuse medicated relief even when sporting a fever. When
someone complains about feeling pain, my mother rushes to soothe and console while I merely
say Toughen up.
Based on my own experience at home, it was not entirely surprising to find that the one
point emphasized in all the readings and videos was that pain is a subjective experience.
Informed by our upbringing, our culture, our habits and environment, it made sense that our
response to pain whether it be our own or someone elses varies dramatically from person to
person. But that does not make it any easier to swallow. My mother and I still find it difficult to
come to terms with the behavior of the other: she whines while I roll my eyes, I feign normalcy
while she assumes I lie.
Our perceptions despite being contrary I now know to stem from the same mistaken
assumption. As elucidated by the readings and videos, it is the mistake of assuming that pain is
produced externally from the body when in reality the brain is the sole source of pain. By
attributing our reactions of pain to a stimulus, we ignore the mediator between the two. We
assume that if a certain stimulus remains constant from person to person, that the reaction
produced by that stimulus will also be constant. This mistake is more damaging to the health of a
population when it occurs by the cynics like me, as summarized in Relieving Pain in America
when it reads The lack of a defined disease made the symptoms of pain and suffering less
acceptable and more ascribed to overreaction, emotional instability, or worse. Because the pain

could not be seen or measured objectively or interpreted within the context of the known, it
was more likely to be dismissed, diminished, or avoided, (x).
On the one hand, I feel as if my mothers behavior makes her more susceptible to (if she
is not already suffering from) chronic pain, and knowing that it is a matter of the mind makes me
wish she could train her brain to avoid it. However, that does not make my viewpoint on pain
any better, for the way it is described in the selected passage above makes it seem ethically or
morally unsound. For someone who wants to be a doctor, such a mindset will surely hinder my
ability to treat patients if I am inherently suspicious of their claims to pain. To avoid this, and to
alleviate the suffering of the millions of American victim to chronic pain, it will be imperative to
start recognizing that the perception of pain is just that: a perception. We recognize and respect
that everyone has different views and opinions. Pain should be treated no different.