Another variable that can contribute to imbalance is emotional sensitivity. People who are emotionally sensitive feel things more rapidly and more deeply than others and tend to personalize them. Emotionally sensitive people may learn ways to numb themselves from their feelings because so many of their feelings are painful. For individuals with chronic pain in particular, feelings of anger, sadness, and depression are not only felt strongly, they are consuming, resulting in intensification of suffering and pain. Negative, uncomfortable emotions can become like a snowball rolling downhill. It gets bigger, gaining strength and speed as it continues. The longer it is allowed to roll without anyone attempting to halt its progress, the harder it is to slow it down or stop it. You may use a range of strategies, including drugs and alcohol, to keep from feeling negative emotions. Pain medications, especially opioids, dull and distort the emotions. Drugs and/or alcohol actually increase emotional sensitivity whenever the acute effects of those substances—pain medications included—wear off. Use of moodaltering drugs for chronic pain can have substantial and adverse affects on your ability to identify, tolerate, and express emotions, creating imbalance in your emotional life. In pain recovery, you work to restore that balance. The following blogs cover specific emotions that are normal and natural for everyone, but are especially relevant if you are dealing with chronic pain. These particular feelings result from and cause problems related to chronic pain and the effects of opiate pain medications. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).