(This first paragraph has been edited slightly to, hopefully, bring better orientation to the subject at hand.)
Be prepared to be shocked and informed and have light shine on the subject of physical/mental sensory perception and how messages can get wired incorrectly. Think phantom limb syndrome.

Brew a cup of tea and settle down for a long read.

Scientists once saw itching as a form of pain. They now believe it to be a different order of sensation. Its mysterious power may be a clue to a new theory about brains and bodies.

One womans harrowing story is documented in this article in the New Yorker. The excerpt below sets the stage for her journey, with an itch which went on and on and…

It was still shocking to M. how much a few wrong turns could change your life. She had graduated from Boston College with a degree in psychology, married at twenty-five, and had two children, a son and a daughter. She and her family settled in a town on Massachusetts’ southern shore. She worked for thirteen years in health care, becoming the director of a residence program for men who’d suffered severe head injuries. But she and her husband began fighting. There were betrayals. By the time she was thirty-two, her marriage had disintegrated. In the divorce, she lost possession of their home, and, amid her financial and psychological struggles, she saw that she was losing her children, too. Within a few years, she was drinking. She began dating someone, and they drank together. After a while, he brought some drugs home, and she tried them. The drugs got harder. Eventually, they were doing heroin, which turned out to be readily available from a street dealer a block away from her apartment.
The New Yorker, June 30, 2008, The Itch by Atul Gawande

Later in the article we find solutions to perception difficulties such as phantom limbs, through the use of mirrors.

One’s heart cannot but go out to ‘M’. Light a stick of incense.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Itching”

  1. As someone in recovery from a “behavioral” addiction, I can really testify to that itch. It can become so overwhelming and it can destroy one’s whole life. At the height of my “itch”, I felt so unworthy, so void of any sense of self worth that I turned away from everything, even from the Eternal, I just wasn’t good enough for anything. How could I be loved. How could I be accepted. Not even good enough to stop the itch. How fortunate I am that I was able to get into recovery and that I have a sponsor that has supported me. It has been a long time, but even now the “itch” can rise up and I simply have to remember not to scratch. My prayer at those times that I say to myself is: In a difficult time, I look up, turn to Buddha to soften my heart, to strengthen my will so that I may not cause harm to myself or others, so that I may do good in the next moment and that I may do good for others. I guess you might call that an “Anti-Itch-Balm”…it cools and soothes. I just have to remain aware. I think it is also good to offer Merit often to those who suffer from addictions.

  2. There is a lot of information on the subject being pointed to in this article and I’ll publish what I’ve found, when time permits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.