The person suffering from chronic pain wears a mask because is he/she has been honed to the environment. We are highly adaptive beings. We come into this world with a whole suite of patterning that helps us enter it successfully. Remember, everyone who survived to reproduce an individual’s genetic line has left their markers as guideposts for the newborn. The individual will do whatever it must to insure its survival. This includes mimicking our parents and other caregivers and, through the process of trial and error, adopting whatever behaviors attracts care in the form of food, water, warmth, connection – any basic needs.

We learn to wear masks, adopting the best persona we can surmise or intuit as a survival tool. It is so core as to reach far back in our lineage. It would not surprise me to discover that the geneticists have found a genetic component to this behavior. Look at monkeys, dogs, and other social species. They appear sort themselves out within their social structure and find safety in it through using their version of masks to survive in the group. This, in turn, gives the individual cover and protection so long as they “fit” into the social structure. Our ability to manipulate our situation, either by changing ourselves or convincing others to change, is at the root of survival in human society.

An example of such an adaptation in the chronic pain sufferer is the ability to hold tension without revealing it in body language or speech. Such a person learns to suppress their emotions. They might make similar movements or vocalizations as their healthy companions, even though this is in direct contrast to what they are truly feeling. A chronic pain sufferer survives is by suppressing the true expression of what they are feeling.

This adaptive behavioral trait to hide what we are truly feeling may be a powerful survival mechanism that can carry us into our reproductive years, but it is a blueprint for suffering.

mask of chronic pain

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *