Common painkiller found to damage mental and emotional wellness

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pills-in-hand(NaturalHealth365)  Are aches and pains or a headache keeping you from enjoying life?  It seems like a harmless solution to a common problem, but grabbing a painkiller like Tylenol to relieve minor pain or fever could do more harm than good.

Researchers have found that over 600 medications pushed by big pharma containing acetaminophen not only cover up symptoms, but also trigger negative emotions and prevent people from feeling positive emotions like, joy.  So, most people are left unaware that taking these seemingly ‘harmless’ drugs could be affecting their mental and emotional wellness.

Painkiller has unwanted emotional side effects

In a study published last year in the journal Psychological Science, acetaminophen was found to be not only a pain reliever, but an “emotion reliever” as well. In the trial, half the participants took a dose of 1000 mg of acetaminophen, which is a recommended amount, while the remaining participants were given an inactive placebo.

After allowing about an hour for the medication to take effect, both groups were given identical tests. They viewed a number of photos specially designed to cause various positive and negative emotions. However, the scientists found that participants receiving acetaminophen didn’t react to the same highs or lows as the people who did not. The drug dampened both positive and negative emotions.

Drug-induced ‘zombie state’ leads to relationship problems

In another experiment using the painkiller acetaminophen published in 2016 in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 80 college students took part to determine the effects of the drug on emotional health. Again, half received a dose of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen and the other half received a placebo.

Participants were then read a series of stories about people going through pain and asked to rate the pain of those in the stories.  The study’s results found that those given acetaminophen consistently gave lower pain ratings for people in the stories compared with those receiving placebos.  Hence the suggestion that these students are turning into ‘zombies’ – after taking a common painkiller.

Do painkillers destroy our ability to ‘feel for others?’

Participants also had the opportunity to empathize with someone going through a socially painful experience. Those given acetaminophen continued to show less empathy and were less likely to be concerned about the rejected person’s feelings. The study’s authors stated they may perform a similar study using ibuprofen instead.

The results suggest that those taking acetaminophen may unknowingly be less responsive to the pain of others they interact with in personal and workplace relationships. The result could be a breakdown of healthy relationships simply because of taking acetaminophen for a headache, minor pain or fever.

Avoid toxic painkillers by choosing natural remedies

Commonly used painkillers have been linked to a dangerous list of health problems in addition to these latest studies on the effects on emotional and mental health. Liver damage, impaired brain function, increased risk of heart attack, addiction and increased pain are just a few of the side effects you could suffer from by taking over-the-counter and prescription pain medications.

But you do have some natural alternatives to these dangerous medications, including: vitamin C, willow bark, turmeric, and cloves, as well as holistic treatments like acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and massage.

References:

http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/05/02/scan.nsw057

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/26/6/750

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  • Chuck Morris

    All pharmaceuticals and especially pain pills numb the brain. That is how they work to make you think the pain is gone.

  • Janis Herman

    Pain pills put me into a fog. i can’t think straight. The funny thing is this could happen on a toned down scale with aspirin. Does anyone else have this happen?

    • Karlie Gainer

      If I take aspirin before going to bed, not only do I fall asleep faster I get uninterrupted sleep. Up to reading what you said I thought it was something peculiar with my system.

      I never take aspire if I don’t need it even for a good night’s sleep. I am not looking for problems.