Living a Horror: Life without Pain

“The Happening” viewing was weeks ago, and there are so many absurd things with that film I would love to question Shyamalan about, but one aspect that was brought up in discussion was the point of how some individuals really do not have control over harming themselves. We all have survival instincts that tell us what is dangerous, and obviously keep us from committing ridiculous acts of suicide, but there are actually some people who are born without the ability for the brain to tell the body what is physically harmful.

These individuals literally can not feel pain, and they are born with CIP, Congenital Insensitivity to pain. Individuals with this disorder have normal cognition and sensation, can feel discriminative touch, and there are no noticeable physical abnormalities. However, they usually can not feel temperature and there may be mild intellectual disability. There are two types of non-responses to pain with this disorder: insensitivity (in which a painful stimulus is not received and they can not describe the type or intensity of pain) and indifference (in which the patient can perceive the stimulus, but lacks the appropriate response such as flinching or withdrawing away from it).

This extremely rare disorder may seem fairly tame and harmless at first, it could almost be nice never knowing what stubbing your toe or jamming your finger is a door feels like. You don’t have to put up with the pain of daily scrapes and bruises. But in reality this disorder can be quite dangerous, especially when the individual is growing up. Think about it, children with CIP don’t know a stove is hot, they don’t know if they have something in their eye, they don’t know if they’ve been cut or if they’re bleeding with out seeing it, they can not feel hot ground or know if they’ve been in the sun too long. Parents with children of CIP have double duty when it comes to keeping their kids safe. They have to teach them what can be potentially harmful, they have to search them for injuries throughout the day, they have to safe proof their house, and they have to teach them to seek help if they are bleeding or bruised. Even basic things, such as when to use the restroom, often has to be regulated by an adult because the child can not feel for themselves. Because they can not feel pain, these individuals are more likely to do harm themselves unintentionally. Infants have been known to bite off their tongues and some individuals have died performing actions that we otherwise know to be fatal.

This disorder is extremely rare with only 84 documented cases in the United State. Infants with this disease usually do not live past the age of 3 and those who do usually do not survive past 25, most often do to the fact that CIP creates the inability to sweat, which leads to hypothermia. This disease seems like it would be a living nightmare when to the rest of the world, it could easily seem like a daily perk. Forget plants talking and suicide inducing hormones…Shyamalan chould have easily ran with a CIP plot and had a film just as interesting and a bit more legitimate.

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