Study Suggests That Painkillers Kill Your Emotions And Numb Your Mind
According to recent study conducted by the researches from Ohio State University and also published in the journal Psychological Science the active ingredient consisted in Tylenol might numb people’s emotional reactions.
“People who took acetaminophen didn’t feel the same highs or lows as did the people who took placebos,” researcher Baldwin Way said.
Notably, the participants in the study did not realize that their reactions had been affected.
“Most people probably aren’t aware of how their emotions may be impacted when they take acetaminophen,” Way said.
Blunts ability to feel strong emotion
The research was made on 82 participants who were assigned to take a single pill containing either placebo or acetaminophen. Acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), which is the active ingredient in Tylenol. An hour later, participants were shown 40 photographs showing images ranging from sad (such as crying children who appeared malnourished) to neutral (such as a cow in a field) to happy (such as children playing with kittens). Participants were asked to rate each image on a scale from positive to negative. They were then shown the same photos again and asked to rate how much emotion each photo provoked in them.
The researchers found that participants who had taken acetaminophen ranked the photos as both “more neutral and less emotionally intense” than those who had taken a placebo.
But the research were not satisfied with these findings so they proceed on another 85 participants but this time they asked the participants to rate how much blue there was in each photo.
Once again, the participants who took acetaminophen ranked the photos as more neutral and less emotionally intense than those who took a placebo. There was no difference in how the two groups perceived the magnitude of blue, however.
According to these findings Tylenol interferes directly with the brain’s emotional processing capability. The researchers noted that people naturally vary in the way they respond to emotional life events, both positive and negative; perhaps the drug dulls this sensitivity, even in people who tend to be more emotional.
“There is accumulating evidence that some people are more sensitive to big life events of all kinds, rather than just vulnerable to bad events,” lead author Geoffrey Durso said.
Surprisingly, the researchers actually attempted to spin acetaminophen’s emotion-dulling effect as a benefit rather than an alarming adverse effect.
“This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought,” Durso said of the findings. “Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”
Dangerous for your brain and liver
The study is planned to be repeat on participant who will take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NASID such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
These painkillers function by a different mechanism than acetaminophen, so they might not have the same effect.
Narcotic painkillers such as morphine function by yet another mechanism.
A 2009 study found that acetaminophen seemed to dull the emotional pain caused by social rejection. A 2013 study conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and published in Psychological Science suggested that it might also blunt the sense of indignation that leads to moral judgments. Even the fact that the scientists do not know and cannot understand precisely how acetaminophen dulls pain, but according to evidences it may act on part by dulling the brain ability to experience.
Like addition to these statements it is also good to mention that acetaminophen is dangerous for the liver, to be precise this is one of the most commonly overdosed drugs in the world.
Similar to Vicodin or Perococet.