Answer: No, these blows are completely different. These are not the blows that we are used to. A blow is not something that makes us feel bad; we can all imagine feeling that way. Rather, a blow is something that makes me understand that my egoism, my nature, is evil. This attainment is called a plague. Nothing else pertains to the ten plagues.
It is not a blow if I am just feeling bad. I suffer not because I am feeling bad, but because I feel the evil of my desire to receive pleasure, of my egoism. A blow points me to the cause of the evil. It, itself, is not evil.
In reality, these blows are not that much suffering. People suffer much more in our world. What matters most is that a person feels a direct connection between suffering and his egoistic qualities: “You suffer because of what you are. You will not suffer if you rid yourself of these qualities and rise above them.”
A person strives to escape this suffering, but it is not because he just wants to stop feeling it. It is because he feels his insignificance, the evil in him, especially in relation to those around him.
There are several terms here: the Creator, man, Pharaoh, the sensation of evil, and the reason for the sensation of evil versus good. Man does not want to escape the blows. This is not the problem. The blows help him discover the true causes, and he no longer wants to just escape the blows; he desires to rise over them toward the property of bestowal.
He wants to attain a connection with the Creator and to disconnect from Pharaoh not from the bad feeling. In other words, he transitions from evaluation according to the principle of “bitter and sweet” toward examining the principle of “true and false.” He wants to cling to the truth, and this is why the ten plagues lift him and take him out of Egypt.
From the Lesson on the Weekly Torah Portion 1/6/2011