Negative Emotional States

Hyperkatifeia is an increase in the “intensity” of negative emotional states that develop during opioid withdrawal.

Opioids administered in excess of need, i.e. more than the body needs to maintain health, will react to that disruption by engaging opponent-processes in the context of both pain (hyperalgesia) and negative emotional states (hyperkatifeia). In other words, when opiates are abused, the body produces less and less natural painkillers (pleasure producers), such that when opiates are discontinued the body falls into a less than normal condition. The results are hypersensitivity to stimuli, which means things that normally do not cause pain now do cause pain. Additionally, normal mood is replaced by a less than normal mood, such that any negative emotional stimuli will result in a hyper-negative state of mind.