God is in the world, and nothing happens automatically or randomly, especially when it comes to health. Things can always be fixed when God is in the picture, even when the prognosis looks pretty bad.
I just want to start filling in a little bit more of the material I’m gathering about the body/mind/soul connections, to give us all more motivation to knuckle down and do the work we need to do to solve the real issues that are causing us the health problem, while they’re still just manifesting at the level of mind and emotions (ie, depression).
On with the info…
Landmark study that connects upbringing with illness
Dr Caroline Thomas undertook a landmark study where she followed 1300 Johns Hopkins Medical School students who graduated between 1948 and 1964, over many decades. The students were given a whole range of physical and psychological tests at the beginning of the study, to establish a base-line of their character traits and physical frailties. The case histories were updated over time, and they gave Thomas a clear picture of what sort of personality type was more likely to succumb to what type of illnesses.
Gerber writes: “There were common psychological factors among those students who had succumbed to cancer. The traits of the group that later developed cancer were similar to those who eventually committed suicide. They typically described themselves as emotionally detached from their parents. Members of the cancer group also felt that their parents had often been emotionally disagreeable toward one another.
“In fact, more students who eventually developed cancer had described negative early family relations that any other group in her study.”
Later on, Gerber also quotes a study done by psychologist Lawrence Leshan, that many cancer patients “habitually bottle-up their emotions, especially negative ones. In many, this sense of alienation from family contributes to periods of overpowering depression in later life.”
Gerber continues that in his view, the main problem is that many of the people suffering from cancer (and depression) have a diminished ability to love themselves and others, primarily as a result of having a negative relationship with their parents.
Once again, let me underline in BIG LETTERS that a difficult childhood doesn’t automatically equate to a potentially-terminal disease, God-forbid.
Difficult childhoods decrease our ability to love
The point is that difficult childhoods – especially ones that aren’t acknowledged or properly dealt with - often cripple a person’s ability to love themselves and other people (in that order…). This lack of self-love and self-acceptance is at the root of the vast majority of the mental and emotional ills plaguing society. If we can’t learn to love and accept ourselves more (and believe me, it can take some serious work to even begin to achieve this on any tangible level), and instead we continue to push down our true feelings, and true responses and true thoughts, we get filled up with a bunch of negative, toxic emotions that start to come out in our bodies, instead of being released in a healthy, positive way.
(BTW If you’re wondering how we can start to deal with our negative emotions in a positive way, take a look at this article, why we need our negative emotions.)
The $64,000 question is: what happens if a person uses antidepressants to ‘solve’ their emotional problems and depression, instead of doing the hard, painful work of uncovering what’s really causing them, and trying to solve the problem at its root?
The short answer is: I don’t know. But it’s definitely a question that more people need to be asking.
Next week, BH, I’ll start to set out some practical, helpful, effective and EASY things that can help us to start liking and loving ourselves. Stay tuned…