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Old 03-08-2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

Not sure if this is the right forum but here it goes. I have always wondered what purpose fainting/blacking out upon severe pain serves. Given that pain signals that tissue damage is occuring, and something should be done to avoid further tissue damage, shouldn't the presence of pain (albeit extreme) signal there's a lot at stake and the organism should stay as awake/alert as possible and try to get itself out of harm's way?

Hope this makes sense. What I am trying to say is that fainting upon severe pain seems to diminish an organism's chance at living since it will be immobile and thus unable to run away from source of damage.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

You don't necessarily faint when under extreme pain; you can though. As far as I know the mechanism behind fainting in such manner is because your heart is essentially thrown into over-drive (fight or flight response), and you faint if you heart can't keep up with the demand of oxygen your body is requiring at such a point. It's not a purposeful evolutionary decision to make the guy pass out to spare him the pain, it's just the result of a cardiovascular system that cannot handle the pressure at that point (and this is obviously dictated by the amount of pain, the diet and overall cardiovascular health of a person, their pain threshold, etc which is why it's not guaranteed you'd faint).
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Rust View Post
You don't necessarily faint when under extreme pain; you can though. As far as I know the mechanism behind fainting in such manner is because your heart is essentially thrown into over-drive (fight or flight response), and you faint if you heart can't keep up with the demand of oxygen your body is requiring at such a point. It's not a purposeful evolutionary decision to make the guy pass out to spare him the pain, it's just the result of a cardiovascular system that cannot handle the pressure at that point (and this is obviously dictated by the amount of pain, the diet and overall cardiovascular health of a person, their pain threshold, etc which is why it's not guaranteed you'd faint).
Thank you for your post. However, I have heard of this (horror!) story where a woman who was having a fight with her husband, had her tongue cut off by him. She passed out on the spot. Sounds to me she was passing out from the phenomenon of pain alone (since it was so fast, faster than can be explained by the circulatory overdrive you described. Not saying you are wrong, just saying how I honestly see it). The way I see it, for the body to go into fight or flight response it needs adrenaline released into the blood stream, then gets pumped to all parts of body where it does its work. All this takes time, whereas the woman in question passed out instantaneously (although this is just a story I heard. However I am sure you have heard of people passing out instantly from pain). So I guess my new question is, is it possible to pass out from having experienced pain alone?
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

There are many psychosomatic triggers to people passing out. It's not purely physiological.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Kow View Post
There are many psychosomatic triggers to people passing out. It's not purely physiological.
What are these psychosomatic triggers you speak of? Also, I will try and explain it in my own way and can you tell me if I am right or not?

Basically what psychomatic trigger means is that what the consciousness experieces, the raw feel, can influence how the body works? In other words, the woman's passing out is indeed caused by having experienced the phenomenon of pain, which in turn directly cause her to pass out? If that is the case, what is the mechanism behind it? Does it involve the body?

Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by WAN View Post
What are these psychosomatic triggers you speak of? Also, I will try and explain it in my own way and can you tell me if I am right or not?

Basically what psychomatic trigger means is that what the consciousness experieces, the raw feel, can influence how the body works? In other words, the woman's passing out is indeed caused by having experienced the phenomenon of pain, which in turn directly cause her to pass out? If that is the case, what is the mechanism behind it? Does it involve the body?

Thanks.
Sight of blood is the one that pops first into my mind. And you seem to have the idea down of what that is. Also, it's psychoSOmatic.

I'm not too certain of the mechanism. Lemme try to do some research for you.


Some food for thought, as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WikiAnswers
Yes, it can make you pass out. Or it can also cause you to go into shock, which can be dangerous particularly if your normal blood pressure tends to run lower than the average normal blood pressure.
Perhaps blood pressure was lost in the tongue (which would have a lot of blood vessels cut) and was enough to make her pass out.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Kow View Post
There are many psychosomatic triggers to people passing out. It's not purely physiological.
You're right, it ca have psychological trigger; but as far as I understand it, even those boil down to a physiological explanation: someone who faints at the sight of blood still faints because of the physiological response to the psychological trigger. Like a panic attack: the panic attack involves a your whole cardiovascular system, even though the trigger was, for example, someone mentioning your abusive father.


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So I guess my new question is, is it possible to pass out from having experienced pain alone?
What do you mean pain alone? Pain involves your whole body in a physiological response. To take the example you give of a woman having a heated discussion with her husband: the discussion wasn't instantaneous, correct? They were presumably arguing for some time - even if for just one or two minutes. That's already enough for a fight or flight response even without the cutting of her tongue. The cutting itself - which doesn't happen instantaneously either... lets say 15 seconds - is just extra.

So to answer your question, it can happen with or without pain. But "alone" doesn't really make sense as far as I know: it happens as a phenomenon that primarily involves your physiology.

Last edited by Rust; 03-08-2010 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Rust View Post
What do you mean pain alone? Pain involves your whole body in a physiological response. To take the example you give of a woman having a heated discussion with her husband: the discussion wasn't instantaneous, correct? They were presumably arguing for some time - even if for just one or two minutes. That's already enough for a fight or flight response even without the cutting of her tongue. The cutting itself - which doesn't happen instantaneously either... lets say 15 seconds - is just extra.

So to answer your question, it can happen with or without pain. But "alone" doesn't really make sense as far as I know: it happens as a phenomenon that primarily involves your physiology.
Allow me to given a thought experiment to show what I mean: imagine that we are technologically advanced enough to grow brains in vats. These brains are supplied oxygen and nutrients by tubes alone. There is no body to supply it with those, so the question of physiological responses getting involved can be ruled out. Now We take an electrode and stimulate the pain-perceiving regions of the brain in said vat. Can this brain experience the phenomenon known as passing out (we won't directly be able to see it, because there's no body. But assume that we are advanced enough to be able to detect when this happens), based on pain only? Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

There is a psychology and biology forum respectivley, all of which are scientific. This forum is mostly for the mundane sciences.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by WAN View Post
Allow me to given a thought experiment to show what I mean: imagine that we are technologically advanced enough to grow brains in vats. These brains are supplied oxygen and nutrients by tubes alone. There is no body to supply it with those, so the question of physiological responses getting involved can be ruled out. Now We take an electrode and stimulate the pain-perceiving regions of the brain in said vat. Can this brain experience the phenomenon known as passing out (we won't directly be able to see it, because there's no body. But assume that we are advanced enough to be able to detect when this happens), based on pain only? Thanks.
Well I don't believe anyone in our outside of Zoklet would be able to answer that with any certainty. I know that drugs used to regulate your cardiovascular system (e.g. heart-rhythms) have been used to reduce fainting in all sorts of causes, I believe even pain, so there's good reason to believe it would be the physiology and not "pain alone".
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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It's not a purposeful evolutionary decision
yea, neither is anything else, moron. you are with all the other idiots out there who have no clue how evolution works. nothing about evolution is purposeful neither can any of it be associated with the word decision



please shut the fuck up about it retard
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

on unrelated news, you faint under extreme pain to protect your brain from neuron damage due to high stress. maybe it would be more advantageous to be able to withstand it for some time to get away, but that is simply not how it is.


maybe further down the road this change will happen, but who knows
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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yea, neither is anything else, moron. you are with all the other idiots out there who have no clue how evolution works. nothing about evolution is purposeful neither can any of it be associated with the word decision
You are a fucking idiot. I know what evolution is just fine; I've been defending evolution on Totse and now Zoklet for almost a decade now. I definitely don't need an explanation of it from you.

By "purposeful evolutionary decision" I'm using non-literal language to convey the general idea I thought WAN was trying to imply (that fainting evolved as some sort of evolutionary strategy). That - using figurative language when talking about evolution - is a practice that is as old as the theory itself. From Darwin, to Dawkins and Stephen J Gould, they all used figurative language in their explanations. It doesn't mean they literally think evolution requires any form of consciousness or purpose or what have you. Now kindly shut the fuck up, and let the adults have their discussion.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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You are a fucking idiot. I know what evolution is just fine; I've been defending evolution on Totse and now Zoklet for almost a decade now. I definitely don't need an explanation of it from you.

By "purposeful evolutionary decision" I'm using non-literal language to convey the general idea I thought WAN was trying to imply (that fainting evolved as some sort of evolutionary strategy). That - using figurative language when talking about evolution - is a practice that is as old as the theory itself. From Darwin, to Dawkins and Stephen J Gould, they all used figurative language in their explanations. It doesn't mean they literally think evolution requires any form of consciousness or purpose or what have you. Now kindly shut the fuck up, and let the adults have their discussion.

You better fucking not ask for it because im not going to give you one.


And now, using non-literal language when talking about scientific processes uh? Shut the fuck up dumbass. Thats called being caught talking out of your ass and trying to get away by saying you were speaking metaphorically. You can suck my dick. Show me a fucking single sentence where darwin wrote "purposeful evolutionary decision". He fucking didnt.


Bottom line is you are an uninformed piece of trash trying to elaborate theories about shit whose basic principles you don't even understand.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

'Variation under Domestication' pages 248-250. A famous example of Darwin explaining natural selection as if it were an architect selecting rocks. If you want to continue believing I don't know anything about evolution, go right ahead; I don't give a flying fuck about you. But please stop de-railing the thread with your utter stupidity. Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Oink The Pig View Post
Thats called being caught talking out of your ass and trying to get away by saying you were speaking metaphorically.
As someone who doesn't know either of you and hasn't set foot in this forum before... STFU, it's pretty obvious he was speaking metaphorically. We're all glad your 9th grade science class just learned what evolution is, but yes, let the adults have their discussion.

Oh, and before you spout off about it, I know that someone cannot literally "set foot" in an internet forum, and I don't need you to explain what an internet forum is.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Rust View Post
'Variation under Domestication' pages 248-250. A famous example of Darwin explaining natural selection as if it were an architect selecting rocks. If you want to continue believing I don't know anything about evolution, go right ahead; I don't give a flying fuck about you. But please stop de-railing the thread with your utter stupidity. Thanks.
Yea, didnt really spot the whole "purposeful decision" phrasing in there. Wonder why. Maybe because its a shitty and ignorant way to put it??

Just because it is possible to talk about something metaphorically doesn't mean any metaphoric way of putting it is correct by default. You surely can understand that concept.

On other news, you cant derail a thread about evolution by discussing what evolution is or pointing out that someone either doesn't understand it or phrases it exceptionally poorly and in a misleading way. Also, my second post in this thread talks about the specific topic at hand, so there goes your argument. down the toilet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MediumD View Post
As someone who doesn't know either of you and hasn't set foot in this forum before... STFU, it's pretty obvious he was speaking metaphorically. We're all glad your 9th grade science class just learned what evolution is, but yes, let the adults have their discussion.

Oh, and before you spout off about it, I know that someone cannot literally "set foot" in an internet forum, and I don't need you to explain what an internet forum is.

No, i'ts not obvious he was speaking metaphorically. Your opinion and a bucket of shit amount to the same. If someone out there is stupid enough to phrase it so poorly it is more than expected that other morons would also dig that way of phrasing it. Probably because they are stupid morons, but who knows, maybe it's some other reason.


While i will grant a chance of him actually having a deeper understanding of evolution than what one could gather from his primitive communication skills, that doesn't make it any better
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

i dont know if someone mentioned this above(i dont feel like reading that much), but we discussed this in human physiology today. apparently blacking out because of extreme pain is caused by the sympathetic nervous system's response to a flight or fight situation. when faced with danger, many organisms will automatically have vasoconstriction to prevent blood supply to structures that are not important at the time of stress(genitals etc), and will have dilation to improve blood supply to more important structures(spleen, lungs etc).

when confronted with an incredibly stressful moment, a persons sympathetic nervous system will constrict all veins and arteries at once, blood will move away from the brain toward the lower extremities by gravity, and the person will pass out due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

that last paragraph is a vague description of the medical "shock" you hear about, "he,she went in to shock"

as for the evolutionary basis, here is a short reference that suggests that women and children are better off to faint than fight in a fight or flight situation. it also considers other animals that play dead to avoid fighting.

http://cogprints.org/5046/1/2006_C.A...f_Opossums.pdf

i can think of one other reason, if you are injured, vasoconstriction in this manner can help keep blood pressure up, after loss of blood(injured in a fight). if blood is lost very quickly, without constriction to bring pressure back up, the brain can hemorrhage. this kills so quickly, believe it or not, the military engineers their ammunition to cause hemorrhage of the brain, via a thoracic shot which would cause rupture of vessels by pressure waves, consequently, rapid bp drop and brain hemorrhage. If you look at stats done on ballistics by the army, alot of their graphs have plotted "time to incapacitation" against the likelihood of hemorrhage of the brain. sorry about getting off tangent, but i think that last bit is just plain cool

Last edited by kervin; 03-09-2010 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Originally Posted by Oink The Pig View Post
on unrelated news, you faint under extreme pain to protect your brain from neuron damage due to high stress.
Do you have a source for it? Can you elaborate on it please? Also is this proof that pain alone can indeed make a person pass out? Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Why does extreme pain cause one to faint/black out?

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Do you have a source for it? Can you elaborate on it please? Also is this proof that pain alone can indeed make a person pass out? Thanks.
you can get neuronal cell damage or death from prolonged, and extreme stress. when you are stressed the epinephrine norepinephrine( secreted from adrenal gland) call for constant firing of neurons associated with stress response. stress can also damage or kill the cells whose products are stress hormones, both types can regress to the point that functionality of the structure is lost. when this happens, anytime the organism is faced with fight or flight in the future, they just dont respond. you know this as a nervous breakdown in people talk.
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