Torture Permanently Damages Perception of Pain

Goya_-_La_seguridad_de_un_reo_no_exige_tormento_(The_Custody_of_a_Criminal_Does_Not_Call_for_Torture)A study of Israeli soldiers captured and tortured during the 1973 Yom Kippur war revealed that their perception of pain has been changed permanently.

Via NeuroScience News:

Forty years later, research by Prof. Ruth Defrin of the Department of Physical Therapy in the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University shows that the ex-prisoners of war (POWs), continue to suffer from dysfunctional pain perception and regulation, likely as a result of their torture. The study — conducted in collaboration with Prof. Zahava Solomon and Prof. Karni Ginzburg of TAU’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work and Prof. Mario Mikulincer of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya — was published in the European Journal of Pain.

“The human body’s pain system can either inhibit or excite pain. It’s two sides of the same coin,” says Prof. Defrin. “Usually, when it does more of one, it does less of the other. But in Israeli ex-POWs, torture appears to have caused dysfunction in both directions. Our findings emphasize that tissue damage can have long-term systemic effects and needs to be treated immediately.”

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9 Comments on "Torture Permanently Damages Perception of Pain"

  1. This is a shining example of the need to be kind to one another.

  2. Ted Heistman | Nov 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |

    I was staying with this old viet nam vet in an RV on the streets of Seattle. He was trying to screw with me one night and poked me with a lit cigarette trying to make me jump. He couldn’t get me to flinch. After a while it freaked him out a little. I don’t want to get all marked up though, so its not like I want to dare people to do it to me all the time. But it made me wonder if my pain threshold is screwed up.

    • Calypso_1 | Nov 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |

      Your roommate threshold may be a bit off as well. ; )

      • Ted Heistman | Nov 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

        Actually it was a pretty sweet deal.Rent was One 20 ounce beer per day, after I got home from Labor ready.

  3. The Well Dressed Man | Nov 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

    Interesting. Comparing these results to hardcore BDSM players would likely lead to opposite results IMO. Set and setting.

    • Calypso_1 | Nov 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

      A lot would have to do with how deeply the organism is stressed, including nutritional deprivation.

  4. howiebledsoe | Nov 7, 2013 at 8:45 am |

    European journal of pain???? WTF?

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