My first response to this was kind of on the border and that it kind of depended on what it is, how extreme the physical pain, etc. but now that I think about it more, I have to agree with those of you that have said emotional pain is worse. I don't say it because physical pain heals faster than emotional pain (though I agree that often that is a huge factor, such as if you're comparing a broken leg to a friend betraying you), because sometimes the physical pain doesn't go away and there is no hope of it going away. Also, people who have been tortured can be/are likely scarred as well (though suffering from a memory of pain might be classified as 'emotional' I suppose...)
A speaker came to a church I was visiting once, and her story has really stuck with me. She was diagnosed with chronic back pain (it is a very extreme pain, all the time, and the way she described it was hard to listen to, because I have a low tolerance for any kind of pain myself), and it was incureable. She had endured it for quite awhile, but she got to a point where she could take no more, and planned to commit suicide.
But what drove her to want to kill herself, from the way she spoke, was not from the physical pain, but from the feelings of uselessness she had. Before the back pain, she had been an active member in the community with a successful career, and an involved mother and wife. But she had to cut back everything she was doing to almost nothing because she was physically unable to do those things anymore, and it seemed like it was that that crushed her the most.
I couldn't imagine living with that kind of pain, so the strength she had and the strength of her testimony were very striking to me. Even though she was still living with that constant pain as she was speaking to us, she wasn't miserable as she had been before, when she felt as though her life no longer had any meaning.
So, I think physical pain can make us more susceptible to emotional pain, but the emotional pain is the worst part overall. When one is suffering emotionally, they sometimes try to escape it with physical pain, but I can't imagine someone trying to escape physical pain by inflicting emotional pain on themselves. (Although, this is mainly theorhetical for me, since when I take a look at the world around me and what people have to suffer, I see that I have led a relatively physical and emotional pain-free existence)
Last edited by Rocket Axxonu
on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.