Could This Pain Reliever Lessen Emotional Pain Too?
If you’ve ever experienced emotional pain – rejection, a broken heart, loss of a loved one...and who hasn’t? – you may remember that painful experience the same way you remember a past physical injury or pain. Since 2010, several studies have suggested that the pain reliever acetaminophen may help lessen emotional pain as well as physical pain.
Among the findings, acetaminophen:
- Seems to reduce the sting of rejection from being excluded from an activity
- May dull areas of the brain involved in processing social pain
- Can diminish emotional highs and lows and reduce empathy
- May make people care less about mistakes they’ve made
A study published in October 2017 suggests the drug could reduce the tendency to distrust in people who have borderline personality disorder.
Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used medications in the United States, but it is not risk-free. Because the drug is found in many different products, people often don’t realize how much they are taking. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage and even death.