seek medical attention

Another characteristic of pain is that it is disorienting and confusing. If we cut our finger and it bleeds and it stings, we are clear about the course of events that led up to the event of cutting our finger. We understand the cause. We rely on the knowledge of previous similar events and the wise and professional opinion of learned authorities, be it our mothers or a doctor. We also have a practical understanding of the series of actions we must take. We know that we should sterilise the wound to disinfect it, and bandage it to stem the blood flow, and to seek medical attention if the cut is particularly severe. But if the pain is an emotional one the shock and panic of it hit us like new, every single time, even if the sensation and its causes are distressingly familiar and identifiably so. There is no professional help for this ailment, though we so desperately want someone to make the feeling go away.

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