Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Reduced When Morphine Given to Wounded Soldiers

An interesting study took place on 700 troops in Iraq that were injured between 2004 to 2006.    In the study they gave morphine to wounded troops and found that it helped reduce the psychological fallout of war.    The U.S. Naval Research Center, who led the study, found that giving morphine, cut in half the chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) is caused by a psychologically traumatic event involving actual or threatened death or serious injury to oneself or others. Such triggering events are called ‘stressors’; they may be experienced alone or while in a large group. PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event, tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event, and are exquisitely sensitive to normal life experiences.

“The researchers theorize that simply easing pain might reduce the severity of the psychological trauma, or that prompt relief might alter the way the brain remembers the attack or injury — in essence, causing the mind to file away the episode as less traumatic.”

About 53,000 troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated for PTSD. That worked out to a 53 per cent lower risk of developing PTSD for those treated early with morphine.

As someone who has experienced severe prolonged pain, I know that pain itself is very traumatizing if it is not controlled. The brain does not forget torturous pain or horrible injuries. Suffering has long-term effects. James N. Campbell, MD of the American Pain Society declared, in 1995, that pain should be considered “The Fifth Vital Sign”, so that it is taken as seriously as other vital signs.

Our attitudes and beliefs about pain go back many centuries. We must look with new eyes, because many are suffering and dying because of these old beliefs.

If a soldier has to endure very difficult circumstances in times of conflict, then we should do all we can to lessen the trauma to the brain. Otherwise we will loose more soldiers suffering from PTSD. We thank the researchers of this study.

Read more at The Washington Post…..

Lady Sharon
Scribe of Knights of the Pain Table

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