What if it’s all pain? All of it? Like the mental distress of anxiety and depression is just pain in the body unaddressed? I need to elaborate… but I think this is true.
Now in this context these things have been shown to cause depression and anxiety – a lot of these are directly tied to emotional or social pain:
1. Those with less autonomy in their jobs are more likely to die at a younger age.
2. Disconnection from other people is a form of isolation that is usually tied to aversion to pain which is more dreadful than the pain itself
3. When you value things other than connection it causes pain – most people who live for material reasons are deeply unhappy.
4. Childhood trauma I have covered.
5. Disconnection from status and respect is a form of social shame (or pain).
6. The natural world is an outlier.
7. The disconnection from a hopeful or secure future is a form of anxiety which is pain.
8. The brain changes in response to dealing with pain sometimes shutting itself off from shame and pain – reducing empathy, if not it increases empathy.
9. People have hypersensitivity.
The TLDR – our society is causing pain. If you think about life expectancy generally, more marginalised groups that are more prone to social pain have far shorter life expectancies.
When you take illegal drugs for depression – you are killing pain. Most of the drugs that you take are analgesics in some form or another, they help with pain suppression. People with addiction are often just trying to ease pain it would seem if this theory holds true.
Treating the mind and body as separate things and overly complicating things by reducing them down through atomisation of science just seems to have made this way harder to solve than looking at it from a systems view of the body.
When we say drugs are a health problem, we mean it.
People are in pain – that pain is just as real as physical pain. Shaming people into not being addicts is absolutely counterintuitive.
I sometimes wonder if those who don’t feel shame don’t realise how much shame actually hurts if you do. They seem resistant to ever experiencing it too. Like they are above it.
Others convince themselves, then they experience it, it often ends with terrible results.
I talk about why I tried to shed shame – because that stuff was painful to have someone tell me they had experienced it too and I didn’t need to feel shame took away so much of my own personal struggling. I am happy and in less pain now I have got rid of it.
I shed so much shame I don’t have Crohn’s disease (this might just be an effect for me). I had reached my limit of experiencing shame when it developed. I never stopped the feeling stuff I couldn’t turn it off, so it just developed internally for me. Now I have shed it, gone.
Think about how long Stephen Hawking lived when he had ALS vs the average life expectancy – he was never disconnected from other people, he had full social integration. He was respected, his work was meaningful. He had so many ways to limit the social pain of ALS.
The disease progression of Alzheimer’s has a lot of links to social disconnection. My Dad lost meaningful work, he disconnected from his values, he wasn’t respected, he had no status, he was in a home. His disease progression was rapid. I feel terrible about this all the time.
We are wired to connect to other people – when that is cut off – we get sick. We need each other.
Our society is more fragmented than ever socially, we don’t talk to our neighbours generally, we don’t get time to socialise, if our work sucks we are exhausted at weekends. We need more time with one another, and less judgement.
We turned being together into a competition, this is the core root of toxicity of social media. It’s about trying to prove we are better than one another for so many people. When I used it this way it sucked. I changed to make it about connecting – my life improved.
The high school years generally suck more than college because nowhere is the popularity paradigm more prevalent than at high school. Once a lot of us went to university we established less but more meaningful friendships, but school was about being the best always.
No one is honest – when I talk honestly about the struggles of my life people feel connected. Honestly when I saw someone being real about their actual pain on here my life changed. I didn’t feel like garbage as much – I realised I could have bad days. Being authentic helped me.
Everyone is so ashamed of hurting, but so many of us are, and expressing that pain has a solidarity effect and actually brings us closer, if you see people for everything they are you feel less awful and stop trying to hold up a fake version of yourself for image reasons.
Because if you read before – anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself. When I finally admitted all this stuff about my life I realised it wasn’t as terrifying. So much of my pain was based on the fear of having anyone know who I really was, and that actually hurt me.
It’s ok not to be ok needs role modelling. And it can’t be celebrities all the time – we need to see each other for who we are and not judge them. People want to feel connected, but we live in a society that actively tries to disconnect them
It was absolutely terrifying the first time I ever was honest publicly about my life. Some threads early on I deleted. I get called things like brave. I am not brave, everyone is – they have just been made to feel like their struggles aren’t important. Minimised. Invalidated.
“Be the worst version of yourself and try and improve.” That was literally what I told myself. I had no self-esteem I was like nothing else has worked – hiding who I was didn’t work. When I came out as bi, I couldn’t believe how good I felt about starting being me finally.
That became the first thing I needed to realise that shedding shame about my identity had a detoxifying effect for me. Every time I was more honest about my life, I felt better. I had a lot that makes me a marginalised person. I had a lot of internalised ableism. All of it made me hate myself.
I have lost nearly all of my friends so many times. I lost a lot of friends being who I am, but the ones I have now are far more meaningful I get to be authentic – how many people can truly say that about themselves.