Skip to comments.Tylenol Eases Existential Anxiety
Posted on 04/19/2013 7:14:33 AM PDT by Gamecock
A common pain-reliever can also be used to cope with existential dread - anxiety arising from thinking about death - according to a new study.
Acetaminophen or Tylenol is an over-the-counter pain medicine used to relieve minor aches or fever. The new study has shown that Tylenol can also help reduce pain experienced after thinking about death or uncertainty of life.
"Pain extends beyond tissue damage and hurt feelings, and includes the distress and existential angst we feel when we're uncertain or have just experienced something surreal. Regardless of the kind of pain, taking Tylenol seems to inhibit the brain signal that says something is wrong," said Daniel Randles from the University of British Columbia.
The study included 120 college students who were divided into two groups; with one getting a 1,000 mg pill of Tylenol while the other got a sugar pill.
One of the study groups was asked to write about dental pain and the other was asked to write about their own death. Both groups were then asked to read about an arrest of a prostitute. Participants were then told that the bail amount for the hypothetical prostitute was on the scale of 0-$500.
Researchers found that people who were on the sugar pill and were asked to think about death were most likely to pay the highest bail amount, while those who had no such existential fear (the acetaminophen group) set the bail amount to around $300.
In the second part of the study, the participants were shown a clip of surreal video by director David Lynch and then a video of rioters following a hockey game. Researchers found that people on Tylenol were less likely to judge the rioters harshly than those on the sugar pill.
"We're still taken aback that we've found that a drug used primarily to alleviate headaches can also make people numb to the worry of thinking about their deaths, or to the uneasiness of watching a surrealist film," Randles said in a news release.
The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.
"For people who suffer from chronic anxiety, or are overly sensitive to uncertainty, this work may shed some light on what is happening and how their symptoms could be reduced," Randles concluded.
Acetaminophen poisoning is the most common in the world, according to PubMed Health. The drug is safe when taken in the recommended amounts, but very dangerous if taken in large doses (more than 4 g a day). Common symptoms of poisoning include abdominal pain, convulsions, nausea. Higher doses of the drug can lead to severe liver injury and in some cases, death.
Gee, I thought that's what Jesus is for!
But just like many physical maladies, Tylenol doesn't cure, just covers up many of the symptoms.
Too bad it’s so harsh on the liver.
Feel like I need a couple now...
For “existential anxiety”, I recommend Bibleol and Prayerol.
Take two chapters and call Him in the morning.
I thought that’s what xanax is for.
And all this time I’ve been using ethyl alcohol.
Does Ethyl know you are hitting her stash???
This is extremely bad advice and may hurt people.
“Paracetamol toxicity is caused by excessive use or overdose of the analgesic drug acetaminophen. Mainly causing liver injury, paracetamol toxicity is one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide. In the United States and the United Kingdom it is the most common cause of acute liver failure.”
According to publications at the National Institute of Health:
“Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers (>100,000/year) and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year.
“Data from the U.S. Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry of more than 700 patients with acute liver failure across the United States implicates acetaminophen poisoning in nearly 50% of all acute liver failure in this country.
“Available in many single or combination products, acetaminophen produces more than 1 billion US dollars in annual sales for Tylenol products alone. It is heavily marketed for its safety compared to nonsteroidal analgesics.
“By enabling self-diagnosis and treatment of minor aches and pains, its benefits are said by the Food and Drug Administration to outweigh its risks. It still must be asked: Is this amount of injury and death really acceptable for an over-the-counter pain reliever?”
At a press conference Monday, Peter Cafazzo, CEO of Brunley-Hunt Pharmaceuticals (BHP), introduced his company's latest anti-depressant, Cyntrex, a product he described as "a totally stupid waste of time that probably nobody will ever want ever".... The new drug, which stimulates the production of neurotransmitters in sync with the body's natural diurnal catecholamine rhythmscausing a more even mood level than the frequent "crest and trough" patterns associated with traditional psychoactive medicinal treatmentsis something that "everybody will laugh at," Cafazzo said. Among the reasons Cafazzo cited for Cyntrex's "totally doomed future" is BHP's inability to do anything half as well as its chief competitors. "Prozac is so great," Cafazzo said. "We'll never make anybody as happy as Prozac does. I just know it."
Tequila works better and you will go downtown and bail out that prostitute for yourself!
If I have to take it I get very nervous about what it is doing to my liver.
Worried about al-Queda terror cells? Take Tylenol!
Isn’t that one of the benefits of medicinal marijuana also?
This reminds me of a drug called Cymbalta. My wife and I constantly see commercials for this drug that show people in various states of depression while the narrator repeats “Cymbalta can help”. Then we started seeing commercials for a pain reliever that helps with arthritis and back pain and fybromyalgia. It was the same drug-Cymbalta. Makes me wonder if it started out as a pain reliever or anti-depressant.
So basically you replace a general existential dread with a very specific one.
I bet our tax money paid for this goofy study.
Need I say it?