Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Feel Your Pain, I REALLY Do: Synaesthesia for Another's Pain


"I feel your pain"

Empathy for another person's pain is a hot topic of study in the glamorous field of social cognitive neuroscience. The capacity for empathy supposedly involves mirror neurons, those media darlings of The Young, [The Not-So-Young], and The Neuro:
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.
These magical cells have even inspired famous neuroscientists to utter ridiculous hyperbole:


The mirror neurons, it would seem, dissolve the barrier between self and others. I call them "empathy neurons" or "Dalai Llama neurons".

-- MIRROR EURONS AND THE BRAIN IN THE VAT
by V.S. Ramachandran
Synesthesia for pain, a newly described syndrome, goes one step further (Fitzgibbon et al., 2009):
In synaesthesia for pain a person not only empathises with another's pain but experiences the observed or imagined pain as if it was their own. Neural mechanisms potentially involved in synaesthesia for pain include “mirror systems”: neural systems active both when observing an action, or experiencing an emotion or sensation and when executing the same action, or personally experiencing the same emotion or sensation. For example, we may know that someone is in pain in part because observation activates similar neural networks as if we were experiencing that pain ourselves. We propose that synaesthesia for pain may be the result of painful and/or traumatic experiences causing disinhibition in the mirror system underlying empathy for pain.
And what is synesthesia, exactly? According to Edward M. Hubbard's website, SYNESTHESIA can be defined as
...an unusual conscious experience, in which stimulation of one sensory modality leads to a sensory experience in a second, unstimulated sensory modality. For example, seeing letters might lead some people to see colors. Others report that the days of the week or months of the year are arranged like a map in space. Still others report that hearing voices or music cause them to see colors, or that hearing words makes them taste foods...in fact, almost any sensory modality can be involved in synesthesia.
One of the more common forms of synesthesia (illustrated above) is grapheme-color synesthesia, where numbers and letters are consistently associated with specific colors (Ward et al., 2005). A more unusual form is lexical-gustatory synesthesia, in which spoken and written words elicit specific taste sensations that remain constant (Ward & Simner, 2003). For instance, Tony Blair tastes like desiccated coconut.

According to the recent review of the literature by Fitzgibbon et al. (2009), amputees with phantom limb pain comprise the vast majority of those with synaesthesia for pain:
Known Characteristics of Synaesthesia for Pain in a Sample of Amputees with Phantom Pain

Brought on by viewing others in pain and/or observing pain on the television and in movies.

Brought on both when observed pain matches that of the amputated site and/or any general pain

Brought on regardless of the identity of the observed person in pain, i.e. can be a loved one or a stranger.

The experience is similar to the experiences of phantom pain, for example, described as a short sudden ‘electric shock’.

Experienced in the phantom limb and/or stump.
The researchers propose that:
pain experiences may cause disinhibition of mechanisms underlying empathy for pain, resulting in synaesthesia for pain. This proposal is supported by studies that have found mirror activity to be involved in the pain matrix (e.g. Ochsner et al., 2008 and Singer et al., 2004); however, the specific processes that weaken these inhibitory mechanisms are unclear...
Ultimately, in synaesthesia for pain, "there is no self–other distinction in the observation of pain in another person."

References

Fitzgibbon, B., Giummarra, M., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Enticott, P., & Bradshaw, J. (2009). Shared pain: From empathy to synaesthesia. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.10.007

Ward J, Simner J. (2003). Lexical-gustatory synaesthesia: linguistic and conceptual factors. Cognition 89:237-61.

Ward J, Simner J, Auyeung V. (2005). A comparison of lexical-gustatory and grapheme-colour synaesthesia. Cognitive Neuropsychology 22:28-41.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

88 Comments:

At November 15, 2009 9:39 AM, Anonymous Jared said...

Nice post. I'm someone who can feel someone else's pain when I see them in pain. It's not an intense pain but I get a really uncomfortable feeling and mild pain - it's worse with people I know better but it happens with complete strangers too. I only get this pain when people are physically hurt - or intensely grieving, like when a loved-one just passed away.

 
At November 16, 2009 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do mirror neurons pick up physical pain opposed to emotional pain or both?

 
At November 16, 2009 8:19 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

The term "mirror neuron" is often used very loosely in humans to refer to areas outside the classic mirror neuron regions in monkeys (ventral premotor cortex and inferior parietal cortex). I don't think "empathy neurons" have ever been demonstrated in animals.

Using fMRI in humans, brain regions in the "pain matrix" can respond to watching others in either physical or emotional pain.

 
At November 17, 2009 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose Republicans don't have these...

 
At November 19, 2009 3:19 AM, Blogger Seema Misra said...

really interesting ... but how do the mirror neurons get dis inhibited ?

 
At November 24, 2009 10:55 AM, Blogger Neuroskeptic said...

Oh dear, my respect for V.S. Ramachandran has just fallen a notch. My Dalai Lama neurones are not firing for him. Or something.

 
At November 24, 2009 12:21 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

If you want your respect to fall another notch or two, check out some of these Ramachandran titles in the quackery journal of Medical Hypotheses.

 
At March 20, 2010 10:38 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I am trying to find an explanation for a sensation I have felt for all of my life. Whenever I see a loved one cut, bleeding or injured I feel the sensation of an electric shock in both arms (not necessarily the injured area on the loved one) any ideas of what this might be? - msjmcalpin@yahoo.com

 
At March 21, 2010 12:06 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

There's a recent article in New Scientist, We feel your pain: Extreme empaths that says:

"Get in touch: If you experience pain synaesthesia, Bernadette Fitzgibbon would like to hear from you. You can contact her here."

 
At February 07, 2014 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had this for a while. I never thought to investigate what it is until this past week. I don't recall when the pain started, but I chalked it up to having neuropathy in my feet. I can see someone being hurt, hear a word like needle and the electric zap rushes from my toes to my knees. Even visualizing what razor wire looks like, zaps me. I wish it would just STOP.

 
At May 26, 2014 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well to the anonymous above that said Republicans don't have these pains- you are wrong I am a Republican I have these pains generally just the physical pain, but I do have the emotional ones - if and when I hear democrats speak my mind goes blank, I pity their lack of brains, this makes me feel very sad for them.

 
At August 01, 2014 10:34 PM, Blogger VOLTAIRE said...

When I see others hurt or just hear of it, I experience a severe "discomfort" centred in the groin region but larger.

No, its not sexual or pleasant in any way.

It seems to be getter worse as I age.

 
At October 30, 2014 10:43 AM, Anonymous Luisa said...

This started happening to me about six years ago. Before that I wasn't so affected by seeing someone else get hurt. I went through a very deep depression and regressed as well due to the depression. Anyway if I see someone fall down my whole body clenches up, my legs get stiff, and my heart races. It's very uncomfortable and I can barely handle even hearing someone describing something painful. It's really weird and not a good thing. Sometimes it seems to affect me more than the other person.

 
At January 18, 2015 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I see anybody fall down or get hit or have just about any other sort of injury, the same area of my body gets an uncomfortable tingle, practically incapacitating me for a few moments. It in no way matches "real" pain, but it has disturbed me my entire life.

 
At March 15, 2015 2:48 PM, Anonymous Eleanor said...

A few years ago I found out to my surprise that not all people see colours over letters or words on a page. I may also see a number, for instance the letter 'a' on a page is often associated with a yellow cloud over it and the number 4. Green, '3' and the letter 'e', middle 'c', with blue and '5'. It is not constant but when I relax or am tired.
I also see colours over members of an orchestra if they are prominent or out of tune (colours not so nice then). Numbers are also recognized then.

I am a chiropractor and for years when someone comes in to my office for example with shoulder pain, I am drawn by looks and by feel, for example to an undisclosed area, say for instance their right shin. I may or may not ask if there is a problem there. I may go to the area manually, if I am already treating another area of the body. The person, invariably will ask how I knew they were having difficulty there, and when I do feel compelled I cannot offer a good explanation but can only admit that I 'hear' the area. It is not a recognizable tone, but a sort of a hum. I'm not sure if this is part of my other sense anomalies.

 
At August 13, 2015 12:34 PM, Anonymous Theresa Ashby said...

Ever since I can remember, whenever i see someone fall off a cliff(On TV) , or when I am watching a program and for example The camera over looks a city from a plane or tall building,or when I see a for example a skater take a bad fall, My legs always get a pain in them like no other, its not a sharp pain it is a lingering i guess you could say electrical shock but not really strong and it lasts for maybe 15 sec. It is so strange it is almost like my legs have been broken in a "past life" or something, is this what you are talking about? Can you figure out what happening to me?

 
At October 07, 2015 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Ever since I was a child I would feel pain in both of my calves when someone gets physically hurt. It lasts only for a few seconds, feels a bit like an electrical zap. Even if I see something on TV it happens. Have no idea why and I have no control over it. I live in Virginia, am originally from Germany. I am now in my early 40's, have never paid much attention to it until recently. Would like to find out more about it.

 
At November 11, 2015 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! Just here to say I googled this whole topic to try and understand why my groin hurts when I see someone in pain. Today it happened at the mention of someone pricking their finger to take a blood sample. Just the mention of it made my nether regions twinge unpleasantly, as though I was trying to protect the groin area from some kind of proximate physical danger. I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one. I don't know if this has worsened with age or if I'm simply more aware of it now.

 
At January 03, 2016 12:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This has been happening to me since I was a child, every time I see someone falling or watch on tv the ground from a high building more so lately it has been anytime I see someone get hurt in anyway, the electrical shock I feel in my legs goes crazy from my feet to my upper thigh. I was actually thinking before that if there is such a thing as "a past life" I would say my legs must have been broken before, because they feel like they remember that. and for a while after they ache . sure glad there is name for it. Now what? can I be cured of this? the negativity and sorrow that goes with can not be good for me, right?

 
At January 03, 2016 12:54 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Theresa - Unfortunately, not much is known about what causes synesthesia for pain or mirror-touch synesthesia, although the causes are currently under debate. In case you haven't seen it, here's another blog where people discuss their experiences:

Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: Pain & Empathy

 
At January 18, 2016 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been heavily empathic/empathetic my entire life, so much so that it has caused lots of unique hurdles for me (knowing how someone feels when they don't want you to is NOT a blessing most times!). As I've gotten older (I'm 42 now), a strange reaction to other people and even animals' pain has been getting stronger. I have a sharp electric shock type pain in my vaginal area. It's not enjoyable at all - it's pain, sharp and sudden and goes mostly away almost immediately, like I got an intense localized electric shock. It really creeps me out and is embarrassing because I feel like people will think that I'm getting sexually aroused because of the location of the pain (I'm definitely not, not even a little bit). I haven't told many people about it. I just watched my puppy hurt himself and I got the pain. I mean, is this just going to keep getting worse??

 
At January 18, 2016 7:57 PM, Blogger VOLTAIRE said...

You sound like me.

Except, lol, I'm a male.

Yes, my pain is in the groin region.

It has increased over the years and is now intense at age 67.

I have to avoid watching painful things. I switch off anything that randomly appears.

I have no explanation.

 
At February 05, 2016 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had this all my life and I'm now 62. Whenever I see someone hurting themselves whether it be on TV or in person I get a shooting/tingling pain in my thighs. Now I've started getting this at night while I'm sleeping, even though I'm not dreaming about anyone hurting themselves. It happens four or five times a night and I wake up each time feeling awful. What on earth could be causing this? It's horrible.

 
At February 08, 2016 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine is a shooting, stabbing sort of pain straight up my vagina whenever I see someone get hurt, fall, whether in person or on television. Even if I know it doesn't really hurt, if I think it could, my body reacts. All I can relate it to is having suffered an accident when I was eight years old. I jumped off the kitchen counter backwards and the door underneath was open. I straddled the door and wasn't able to touch the ground. I was rushed to the hospital and had needles and stitches and had to walk with crutches for a while. It was traumatic. Now whenever I see what I conceive to be painful my body reacts by bring forth the memory of feeling pain. I've tried all my life to make it go away...meditation, therapy. It just gets worse as time goes by.

 
At April 01, 2016 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - I've finally found someone with the same bizarre symptom as me! In response to seeing someone get hurt - particularly grazed (ugh, even the word!) -I feel an awful cringe-inducing twinge in my vagina. I recently mentioned it to friends who thought I was a weirdo. So it has a name! Just no treatment to stop it... that's disappointing.

 
At May 08, 2016 3:56 PM, Blogger Beegirl said...

I too feel an uncomfortable pain in my vaginal region when I see anyone in pain or something I would perceive as painful. I am the only person in my family like this.
I don't understand why the pain is there and not in my hand or leg.

 
At June 25, 2016 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 60 and just started noticing this in the last few years. That electrical vaginal paint for a few moments when I see someone (a real person, not in a movie) get hurt.I have to kind of put my legs together and clench up to get over it. It's worst when I see someone with a cut or slash. Very weird.

 
At August 16, 2016 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also experienced this electrical shock sensation in my vaginal region when someone gets hurt or I hear of someone getting hurt. Over the last few months it has progressed to happening multiple times during the night and withing the last couple of weeks it can linger for much of the day and night for me. Had gynecological check up (and always have routinely) to find nothing at all physically wrong. For whatever reasons, I am reluctant to pursue neurological expertise...afraid that there wont be any results there either. Is there anyone out there with similar experience or council??

 
At September 09, 2016 4:11 AM, Blogger angelgirl62 said...

It can be both...i take on both

 
At September 09, 2016 4:12 AM, Blogger angelgirl62 said...

Lol....too funny

 
At September 27, 2016 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I experience pain over my whole body when I see someone in physical or emotional pain or recall my own pain. It feels like a wave of an electric shock and a deep aching. Sometimes it's momentary sometimes it 30 seconds or more. If I can focus and relax it will often cease faster. It started when I was very young and it has increased significantly in the last 10 years. It's very uncomfortable.
I am female and 56.

 
At October 13, 2016 11:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I always feel it in the backs of my upper thighs or butt cheek area. Every time I see some kind of injury. Feels like an ache or sensitive nerve type thing.

 
At December 02, 2016 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that everyone who mentioned that they feel pain in their pelvic area, crotch or other areas. This means you are an Empath that does not have their abilities under control. It requires having your Root Chakra grounded. This may sound crazy, but do some research and you find this to be true. I am a 44 year old woman that also feels this electric shock in my vagina. It is something I am working on now since I was always too embarrassed to say something before.

 
At April 08, 2017 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A most sincere thanks to all who posted about this vaginal pain. When I and my children were young,I attributed this pain, when seeing them hurt, as being related to birthing them. Now older, I know it does not occur just with my kids but anyone who is injured. My empathy is strong and often draining. I try to remember to shield and now will address a potentially ungrounded root chakra lol. But seriously...it makes sense.
Again, thnx to all commenters.

 
At April 08, 2017 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it in my perineum. I noticed that mine only happens when I see people really getting hurt, in real life or videos, but not when actors are hurt in movies, etc.

 
At May 13, 2017 4:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I often get an unpleasant feeling in my vagina when I witness or imagine someone else's physical pain. I don't fee pain as such, but sensitivity/ wincing.

 
At September 22, 2017 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW. I thought I was just weird or crazy. I just decided today to google this and I did not
expect to see other people with the same thing. I also get a sharp pain in my vaginal region
when seeing someone get hurt.

 
At September 23, 2017 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have this empathic vaginal twinging also. I'm 70 and it gets worse as I get older, but I've experienced it as far back as I can remember. Good to know I can do something about this! Where do I go to have my root chakra grounded?

 
At October 16, 2017 2:23 AM, Blogger imploded ego said...

Im feeling pain like never before..i used to be a bully in school but now I literally feel every pain from any random person be it in person or on screen..At the time of that feeling I know the pain is not meant to be dealt with for anyone.and then I wish everything in the world should just cease existing because it is not supposed to be like this. I can't even articulate it exactly.

 
At November 03, 2017 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get a shock-like sensation on the skin between my thighs when I see someone get hurt, irl & on movies/tv. It's been happening for the last 5 years. Weird. I used to love horror movies, but they're hard for me to watch now.

 
At November 29, 2017 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same thing happen to me and researching about it brought me to your post. It happens when my loved ones are physically hurt I get a strong tinge in my vagina it is so weird and uncomfortable and I have been experiencing it for years now.

 
At February 16, 2018 2:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have this pain in my vaginal region too. I cannot watch utubes of people falling or I get a cramp -like zapping. It's uncomfortable and I have no control over it.

 
At April 05, 2018 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have the vaginal synaesthesia. Mine occurs when I see people fall or hurt themselves, particularly if they graze their skin.. ugh, even the word gives me a twinge.

 
At August 04, 2018 10:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've had this for two years now. 53 years old. Any falls or gets injured TV or real life, I get a split second shock through my whole body. It's been happening too much lately that I'm concerned. I see someone crying and I start crying. I just have to think the my MS has caused a leasion on the part of my brain that controls this feeling. I Always watched every episode of the Sopranos. I went back and watched the episode the other day and had to close my eyes with all the violence that was going on. I hope this goes away

 
At August 25, 2018 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am relieved to find so many people posting that they feel this synesthetic pain in their vagina too. I never told anyone about my experience out of fear of what they might think. I've experienced this ever since I was a child. Mine is a sudden intensely uncomfortable ache.

 
At November 08, 2018 8:23 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I stopped watching America's Funniest Videos because they constantly show people falling and I'm constantly getting what feels like electric shocks in my shins.

 
At December 01, 2018 7:58 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I too feel an intense burning pain in my vaginal area when I see someone get hurt. Definitely when my children get hurt. I can't respond wuiquic but need a moment. I may look unconcerned but it's the opposite. I don't know how long I've experienced this but it's growing stronger. I'm a very sensitive, compassionate, empathetic person. I too cannot watch violence of any kind. Although I can read it. I always thought I was very strange and only recently shared this with a friend.

 
At January 06, 2019 3:04 PM, Blogger Tyra said...

Oh my god me too I thought I was weird

 
At January 27, 2019 8:44 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've felt this shocking pain many times throughout my life. I'm watching the horror movie "autopsy of Jane Doe" And the man cut his finger with a knife, I instantly got a shock down my back.. I paused the movie just to look up why this happens and my mind is blown. I've always known I was an empathy, but I feel like I feel peoples pain at a whole different level than most. This explains why. Amazing.

 
At April 09, 2019 9:55 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I feel a painful twinge in my cervix.

 
At May 10, 2019 8:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I get the same thing. And I just watched a video of a stupid guy jumping off a roof and landing on a table. Immediate electric super uncomfortable zap of “discomfort” in my groin area. Skateboarding accidents really get me. Would love to understand this more. When I try to tell or explain this to other people they don’t get it.

 
At May 23, 2019 3:32 AM, Anonymous Wanda said...

I am so happy to find this blog!! It's so good to know that I am not the only one who feels the vaginal response to seeing others in pain. For years I've searched for a name for the condition, and even now search for words to describe the feeling to others. No one has ever said "tell me more about it." Instead I'm given a blank stare and the old nonverbal "moving right along" response.

 
At June 20, 2019 11:27 AM, Blogger Jack said...

Wow! Been living with this for years, figured it was just me. I'm 65, it's getting worse. I can bring on the shock sensation by simply imagining someone hurting. I can barely watch children play because I imagine them falling. Any I may have to stop watching football!

So is there anyone who has heard of a treatment? Maybe hypnosis??

 
At July 11, 2019 7:22 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm in my seventies and experience mirror/sympathy pain for others falling on television with an almost paralyzing pain in my lower spine. It doesn't happen in real life where I immediately run to help someone who is injured without any of the mirror/sympathy pain sensations.

 
At August 27, 2019 3:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I thort i was the only one i was scared to tell anyone

 
At October 20, 2019 6:42 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have the exact same thing

 
At October 20, 2019 6:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I hg ave always had that same uncomfortable twinge feeling in my groin upon seeing others get hurt! I have never had a past injury there so it's not that. It's awful and hard to explain.

 
At November 06, 2019 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too! I thought I'm the only one! , can any one give a detailed explanation please.

 
At November 27, 2019 1:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have the exact same vagina pain in response to seeing an injury. My mom has the same thing too. We thought everyone did. Guess not, but you’re not alone.

 
At December 08, 2019 11:08 AM, Anonymous AngelSeraphim said...

I get a shock-wave like flash of pain throughout my whole body when I see someone in physical pain or get hurt. I've been this way since I was a little girl. The pain courses uncomfortably throughout my body and then dissipates. Sometimes I get aftershocks if it's real bad. My husband and daughter, mother and sisters don't seem to have this thankfully.

 
At December 28, 2019 9:20 AM, Blogger moonmomma.v said...

I have the same reaction when I see someone hurt...an immediate, uncomfortable, electric-shock like zap from my belly-button ti my knees.

 
At April 13, 2020 6:37 PM, Blogger Anonymous said...

It's interesting many of the women describing this as a twinge or pain through the vagina. I'm a man, and mine is a sudden and strong uncomfortable nerve sensation starting in my perineum and radiating outward every time I see someone fall (or step on something like glass or a nail) in real life or on tv or movies. I first noticed this when my children were toddlers almost 20 years ago; it's gotten stronger ever since.

 
At April 18, 2020 4:34 PM, Blogger Indibonda said...

samee!! ive always had it, especially when my mom gets hurr

 
At April 27, 2020 5:21 AM, Blogger CRALEC said...

Just researching this. I get a pain in my vagina when I see or hear of someone getting hurt. I am now in my 50s and it’s getting worse. Watching cartoons ! And if they get hurt I feel it
I always thought other people had a similar feeling at least somewhere but apparently not.

 
At May 15, 2020 9:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I get shooting pains in the back of my thighs. Both of them. It never fails when I'm watching Naked and Afraid and they step on thorns!

 
At May 21, 2020 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the groin beat .Me and my sister get those zaps embarrassed to say in our rectus when we see people get burned. We just thought it was a normal visceral reaction lol guess not.

 
At June 20, 2020 1:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Im glad that there's a name for this. I thought I was crazy.

 
At July 08, 2020 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha. I thought this was normal for everyone! I get twinges in my calves when I see people hurting themselves on tv video clip shows. Doesn't happen watching movies. I guess my legs know it's not real. Now I've got to get used to being weird (er).

 
At July 21, 2020 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm encouraged to see that others get this. My reaction is twinges of pain in the back of my thighs and at times the perineum as well. I truly thought it was a weird thing exclusive to me, like the rest of you had mentioned. Also, I'm a nurse, so at times it happens frequently.

 
At September 16, 2020 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had this same experience since I was a child. It has never gone away, The powerful wave of pain is located simultaneously in my legs and groin, the intensity is excruciating. It comes with a kind of pain that's hard to describe, some here have called it electric. I suppose it is like that. When it happens I need to look away from the cause to get control of the wincing pain. But if I look back again upon what has caused these sensations the whole experience starts right up again. I am in my 70s, it seems the physical experience in no way has diminished with the years. In fact, at times it seems only more powerful. I supposed everyone had this sensation to one degree or other. After reading about this particular "Pain synesthesia" I realize I was wrong.

 
At September 17, 2020 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too have this localized synesthesia pain in my vagina whenever I see someone get hurt. I thought I was the only one. I’ve had it for many years and thought it too weird to tell anyone or they just wouldn’t understand. Today I started to research it and found this blog. Feel so good to know I’m part of a culture...a community.

 
At October 04, 2020 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, good to know I am not alone. And I am so glad mine is only
in my calves! It has always been when someone else gets hurt, but yesterday, for the first time, I felt it when I got hurt while pulling off a plaster!

 
At October 10, 2020 3:36 PM, Blogger toddr said...

My friend and I of 35+ years had this come up in conversation yesterday and neither of us ever mentioned it to each other before for fear of being thought strange. Turns out we both get the same thing. Pain in the perineum shoot up into the internal organs and down both legs. I’ve also had a sympathy migraine from my wife and I don’t suffer migraines. When we say “I’d trade you if I could,” we really mean it.

 
At October 11, 2020 10:54 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have been getting a painful shock in my midriff for a few years now whenever I watch you've been framed or anything similar and see people getting hurt. I can't watch it anymore it'sjust too painful. Just hearing it in the background makes me ache. I didn't know there was a name for it.

 
At October 19, 2020 11:48 PM, Blogger Brittsawesumhuh said...

Does nobody else feel the shock in their left chest cavity? It literally feels like I’m being shocked on my heart. No matter who it is or if it real or fake, it it looks real I get a jolting shock. I can’t watch gore movies. If I hear a baby, any baby, crying, I get the bizarre urge to nurse them

 
At November 04, 2020 11:28 AM, Blogger Imagineth said...

Amazing! 3 years ago, I would have laughed at you. Now I'm beginning to understand that there are signals in this universe beyond those we are able to measure in the lab. I'm learning.

 
At November 19, 2020 7:09 PM, Blogger Michael Hall said...

I feel a shock like twinge in the back of my thighs and calves anytime I see a viral video of someone crashing, falling or wiping out. I had searched google a couple of times on the phenomenon and never turned up anything until now. I’m not sure when it started. So strange. Glad to have found this potential explanation.

 
At November 19, 2020 7:10 PM, Blogger Michael Hall said...

So I feel the shock like twinge in the back of my thighs and calves when seeing videos of people falling or tripping. Unfortunately those come up all the time on Facebook and the internet. I’m not sure when it started... and have googled it a couple of times unsuccessfully. I was pleased to find this site.

 
At December 03, 2020 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am male and get this shooting electric shock pain in my groin when I view certain instances of pain. I didn’t know there was a name for this and others get the same pain in the same area for the same reason. I can literally get this pain imagining Marv stepping on that nail in Home Alone. lol

 
At December 13, 2020 9:01 PM, Blogger Feels Red said...

I feel sharp pain at the base of my spine -- especially if I see someone fall down. I also see (or feel?) red (that is the color red). The pain and flash of red are just momentary experiences but very painful. It feels as if I've landed on my tailbone, hard, on a hard surface.

 
At December 16, 2020 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get pain simultaneously in both kneecaps with the pain sometimes shooting up the legs. Electric shock, brief.


Don’t have to witness others pain or see it depicted on screen. Just having some describe their latest pain works too.

Have a chronic pain condition. 30 years now.



Oddly, a sip of whisky generates a similar reaction. Not beer, wine or other spirits. Just whisky.

 
At January 08, 2021 7:35 PM, Blogger Katie Jones said...

Omg I get this too. It has happened since I was a kid. Have never mentioned to anyone because I thought it was too strange and that people wouldn’t believe me!!!

 
At March 25, 2021 7:30 AM, Anonymous 24Trillian42 said...

Hi, I just discovered that other people don't get the sensation I do when I see a being getting hurt or even hear it described. I can control it to some degree, by desensitisation (I worked as a vet tech for many years, so I had to learn there). Unlike most of the other people on here, mine originates just below my sternum and above my stomach then radiates out into my chest and arms. It only last a few seconds and it's uncomfortable, sometimes painful for a brief second...kind of like an electric shock. I'm a biologist and I imagine it has to be associated with a surge of adrenaline or similar? It has also happened to me since I was a child and I just thought everyone had it...until I discovered they didn't. I'm glad to find others who experience something similar. I also see numbers vertically and when I picture the year Jan through May are horizontal next to one another and then June to December is vertical underneath April and May (so almost an off centred T shape). I didn't think any of this was similar to the experiences of other synesthesia, like hearing colours or tasting numbers etc. Could you explain how they have a similar cause? Very glad for any information.

 
At April 11, 2021 3:00 PM, Blogger PrinceBreifne said...

You're stupid..had to take a great and interesting topic and turn it political..I feel sorry for you..fool..

 
At April 29, 2021 11:16 AM, Blogger Steven said...

I just this website and ive been experiencing some very harsh and scary happenings. The scariest was i could feel what was a man placing a gernaid or bomb inside a womans vagina and then i heard in a male voice he told her to "shut the fuck up" i have also felt my feet sinking into the ground and my physical body was stuck . i could not move during this. Please anyone that can help me with this i am very interested in whats going on. I am always feeling like im searching to help or protect someone.

 
At May 25, 2021 8:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow! I have the back-of-the-thighs physical reaction to others' pain. I never had any idea that others had it too or that it's apparently fairly common. Still don't know what it's called. It doesn't really fit the description of either synaesthesia or empaths. Not mirroring either, it doesn't occur in the same part of the body as the other person's pain. I am just fascinated by the fact that some of you feel it in the arms or legs or torso while many feel it in the groin. Will follow the thread to see if anyone knows what it's actually called.

 
At June 02, 2021 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved to find my people!
I've been feeling that zapping pain in my vagina since I can remember. I'm 51 now and it seems to be getting worse. It happens if I see real injuries/ falls etc., or on TV, actual injuries and acted out. It also happens when someone I love describes an injury they sustained themselves.
It's incredibly distracting and annoying, but yeah, just for a second or two.
I've told people and get the blank stare, haha!

 
At June 05, 2021 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am watching The Woman in the Window. The main character broke a glass in her hand and I got the vagina pain. It actually hasn't happened in quite awhile. I experienced often as a kid and teen. I can't believe I found other people just like me! This is something that I have mostly kept to myself, obviously, because who talks about their vagina to others. But a google search of "pain in vagina when seeing others get hurt" has brought me to you! I love the internet... I really do.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker