One of the things that helped me most in learning to cope with the dozens of acute and bizarre symptoms that the psychiatric drug withdrawal caused was to become curious about my experience, yes, to attend to the pain and pay attention to it rather than avoid it or disassociate from it. This has not only diminished my suffering but taught me many things about the human condition and the nature of being human.
I’d like to note that when one is learning this it is a practice. There are times when in severe pain of all kinds it may be quite healthy to distract and even dissociate. Being kind to oneself and having compassion for ones suffering trumps all.
What is the difference between pain and suffering? In this video clip taken from the Buddhist Geeks Conference 2011, Kelly McGonigal explores the neuroscience of meditation to help us understand how practice shapes the mind, and offers fresh insight into concepts like mindfulness and suffering.
More posts on Beyond Meds featuring the work of Kelly McGonigal: