What would you feel when you wake up one day with pain everywhere all over the body? Not able to think clearly and not recalling any past events how you ended up in hospital and with excruciating pain and can’t even move your limbs. It is the saddest incapacity I ever felt when I was working in the burns ward. The first time when I entered the burns ward, I felt the change in the earth. I could see the faces of patient attendees wearing the mask of sorrow and depression. They would ask every doctor who used to visit the burns ward to know about the condition of the patient. After conversing with all of them, they would say in regards to the torment.
Pain can be classified as Somatic (pain after you would have experienced after fall from the bicycle), Visceral (dull and vague pain caused due to problems in the stomach, bladder etc.) and Neuropathic pain (tingling sensations, burning, pins and needles sensations felt due to injury to spinal cord or peripheral nerves).
But what about the emotional pain or the psychological trauma felt after the burns? Most of the burns were due to accidental as well as suicidal and rarely homicide. The greater part of the female patients would sob peacefully while taking the history about the event. It was an exceptionally miserable and unforeseen minute for me which I had encountered surprisingly. Life can be truly sudden and unexpected.
The psychological pain or emotional trauma can have prolonged bad impact on the quality of life. It’s not the present, but rather the past events will have the impact and it leads to insecurity about oneself.
The reason uncovered after the search was that because of the perception of event happened by our brain. Our brain neurons are designed in such a way that they change in response to external stimulus, store information and promote survival. Internal representations are made in our brain based upon the external stimuli. Over a period of time neurons become sensitized and even less stimuli can cause considerable emotional pain or suffering. This is also the mechanism of some of the psychiatric disorders and among children, the change in behavioral pattern caused later in life due to child abuse, or any major disturbing event in life which can be as extreme as violent behavior and even a murder.
It is equally important to take care of the emotional well-being along with any medical disability which could be done with the help of support from the family, healthcare faculties, friends and from educational and non-government organizations.
Rapid improvement can be seen if the support comes mainly from the family members. Especially in a country like India where burns injuries are common among the poor society, most are accidental and suicidal. But according to my knowledge after working in burns ward it was quite surprising that accidental burn injuries turned to suicidal and suicidal into homicidal. So it needs a watchful assessment of the patient and regarding the follow-up.
Management can be at various levels but at the individual level behavioral modifications like joining a self- help groups, hobbies etc. Be that as it may, the best practice which has changed the lives of millions is meditation. That is the best treatment which I can prescribe for any individual who has had any sort of psychological trauma/ emotional pain.
I need you to engrave the words in your brain by my most loved author Dr. Viktor. E .Franklin an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and a holocaust survivor from his book “Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man-his courage and hope, or lack of them-and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect”.