when body says no
by Gabor Maté
More beauty from Gabor Maté – on the mind/body connection, and how mental/emotional stress is the root cause of cancer, depression, auto-immune disorder, etc. With references for the skeptic.
Let’s say you repress anger. You’re one of these really nice people, you’re always helping people, you never say no… what happens to anger that you don’t express? Does it evaporate, go away, fly to the moon? Where does it turn? It turns against you, in the form of depression. What does the word depression mean? It means to push something down. It’s that simple. It was an adaptation. Depression begins as an adaptation. You had to push down your feelings to stay attached [to your parents]; 30 years later you’re taking prozac. And they tell you, ‘You’ve got this genetic disease.’ Nonsense. The fundamental thing that happened, and the greatest calamity, is not that there was no love or support. The greater calamity, that was caused by that first calamity, is that you lost your connection to your essence. – Almaas
with the link to this talk:
2 min – separations are not valid.. although.. this science doesn’t penetrate medical practice
3 min – modern sci terms.. a bio/psycho/social approach .. or bio/psycho/spiritual approach.. by separating these dimensions from another.. you can’t understand what happens to human beings..
yeah.. i’m thinking bio/chem/physics.. as well… all of it.. ie:
children who’s parents are stressed.. more likely to have asthma.. what’s connection between parent’s stress and child’s lung functioning.. but we don’t ask about childhood trauma.. we give meds..
4 min – we give adrenalin and cortisol to make child’s lung function properly… yet .. they are the stress hormones.. the hormones manufactured by our adrenal gland and cortex
5 min – adrenalin.. if you’re threatened/stressed.. will increase your heart rate.. send more oxygen to brain/muscles.. make your muscles stronger.. so you can fight/escape…. cortisol will elevate your blood sugar so you have more energy for the fight/flight response..
the connection is.. that when parents are stressed.. kids are stressed
8 min – lump being cancerous 9x greater if both isolated and stressed.. but no change individually.. how does 0 and 0 add up to 9… if stressed.. cortisone high.. in short term that’s positive..
9 min – reading from article.. saying.. if only understood this article in a major sci journal.. everything would be diff.. what he read – in other words:
the adaptations that a child makes to endure stress in the short term help him survive.. and in the long term make him sick..
11 min – which is to say.. cancer is not a disease in an individual.. it reflects a whole set of psychological and social relationships..
this is why we’re not finding the cure for cancer.. we’re not looking where we need to..
13 min – i found that who got sick and who didn’t wasn’t accidental.. what these patterns were.. were no exceptions..
14 min – reading .. who’s illness prone.. 1\ high regard for emotional stability of others over your own.. 2\ what we value in one another is what kills us… automatic identification with duty/role/responsibility.. rather than needs of self..
16 min – 3\ suppression/repression of negative moments.. particularly anger
17 min – 4\ responsible for how other people feel.. wanting to please everyone..
18 min – these four.. quite capable of killing you.. these are not chosen patterns… ie:
these are all adaptions
21 min – ie: the please love me syndrome..
22 min – w/o attachment.. there’s no life..
when attachment needs are not met.. source of all pathology.. whether physical or mental
23 min – how does it become the source of physical pathology..? well because we have another need.. we have a need for attachment and that’s clear.. but
we have another need.. and that’s for authenticity.. the sense of being ourselves..
to be authentic is to be in touch with your body and your gut feeling
authenticity need is as powerful as attachment need.. but what happens to a child where the authenticity threatens attachment
24 min – pure adaptation.. but in long run.. that repression leads to not being authentic self.. is what leads to disease..
the child .. when it comes to attachment and authenticity.. has absolutely no choice in the matter.. because w/o attachment they can’t survive
25 min – once you make the choice.. although it’s no choice at all.. then we spend the rest of our lives living that out.. suppressing our authenticity..
leads to illness because you can’t separate the mind from the body..
26 min – not discrete systems.. but differentiating functioning of the same supersystem…
27 min – immune system called floating brain.. then gut ..
28 min – why is your gut much more intelligent than your thoughts.. it sends many more messages to the brain.. than the other way.. gut has more serotonin than the brain..
29 min – it (gut) receives messages from whole brain.. getting whole picture.. intellect/thoughts only a small part of your evaluative apparatus.. emotions came before thoughts…
30 min – those without language capability.. can tell when someone is a liar.. because taking the whole system in .. body language et al
31 min – who gets guy feelings..? children.. until learned that in order to stay attached had to suppress it.. if we keep chosing attachment over authenticity..we get sick
33 min – healthy anger is in the present.. not about past/future.. it says.. you’re in my space get out
34 min – immune system and emotional system do exactly the same thing.. that’s why repression of anger is cause for cancer
35 min – depression – to push something down.. you have to push down emotions to remain attached.. 30 yrs later you’re taking prozac.. and they tell you.. you’ve got this genetic disease.. nonsense..
36 min – not that there was no love/support.. greater calamity.. loss connection to your essence.. – almaas..
that’s good news.. we can undo past.. our essence is still here.. we can reconnect..
38 min – what is my body saying no to that i didn’t say no to.. the illness can become your teacher.. toward authenticity
almaas calls this.. the precious pearl
There is strong evidence to suggest that in nearly all chronic conditions, from cancer, ALS, or multiple sclerosis to autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or Alzheimer’s, hidden stress is a major predisposing factor
notes/quotes from book:
unlike many other disciplines, medicine has yet to assimilate an important lesson of einstein’s theory of relativity: that the position of an observer will influence the phenom being observed and affect the results of the observation..
the unexamined assumption of the scientist both determine and limit what he or she will discover, as pioneering czech canadian stress researcher hans selye pointed out. ‘most people do not fully realize to what extent the spirit of scientific research and the lessons learned from it depend upon the personal viewpoints of the discoverers’.. t.. in an age so largely dependent upon science and scientist, this fundamental point deserves special attention’.. a truth few people grasp
despite the intervening six decades of scientific inquiry since selye’s groundbreaking work, the physiological impact of the emotions is still far from fully appreciated.. the medical approach to health and illness continue to suppose that body and mind are separable from each other and from the milieu in which they exist.. compounding that mistake is a defn of stress that it’s narrow and simplistic
medical thinking usually sees stress as highly disturbing but isolated events.. these are potent sources of stress for many, but there are chronic daily stresses in people’s lives that are more insidious and more harmful in their long-term biological consequences… internally generated stresses take their toll w/o in any way seeming out of the ordinary..t
for those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood it is the absence of stress that creates unease..t, evoking boredom and a sense of meaninglessness..people may become addicted to their own stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.. hans selye observed.. to such persons stress feels desirable while the absence of it feels like something to be avoided..t
stress consists of the internal alterations – visible or not- that occur when the organism perceives a threat to its existence or well-being..t
what has happened is that we have lost touch with the gut feelings designed to be our warning system..t
just like lab animals unable to escape, people find themselves trapped in lifestyles and emotional patterns inimical to their health. the higher the level of economic development, it seems, the more anesthetized we have become to our emotional realities.. t
aka: civilized ness
a child whose parents punish or inhibit this acting-out of emotion..t will be conditioned to respond to similar emotions in the future by repression.. the self-shutdown serves to prevent shame/rejection. under such conditions, buck writes.. emotional competence will be compromised..t .. result would be a kind of helpless ness…
emotional competence is what we need to develop if we are to protect ourselves from the hidden stresses that create a risk to health and it is what we need to regain if we are to heal.. the best preventive medicine
disease frequently causes people to see themselves in a diff light, to reassess how they have lived their lives…. almost all y accomplishments were in one way or another connected not to my aspirations, but to he aspiration of my father..
could als be a result of an exhausted nervous system no longer being capable of replenishing itself..?
perhaps if researchers took greater care to obtain patients’ life histories, much useful info now being missed would be forthcoming..
ie: self-talk as data
rage and anguish exist underneath the veneer of niceness, no mater how sincere a person mistakes the facade for her true self..
i hate mom.. and yet, he is the one who is the nicest to my mother of us all..the good little kid
you can come to know people quickly and deeply when you look after them during their time of dying…
the image of being alone, confined, desperate and doomed, unheard by anyone was the psychological truth of her childhood existence.. she never experienced herself as an alive and free being in her relationships with her parents or siblings…
as usual the most public layer was also the most superficial one
strong convictions do not necessarily signal a powerful sense of self: very often quite the opposite. intensely held beliefs may be no more than a person’s unconscious effort to build a sense of self to fill what, underneath, is experienced as a vacuum.
avg lifespan after als diagnosis.. 10 yrs.. many less.. stephen hawking .. 4 decades since 1963.. what has enable him to confound medical opinion and those grim stats..?
we cannot understand hawking’s course as an isolated clinical phenom.. separate from the circumstances of his life and relationships.. i believe rodriguez’s bitter comparison was correct: the young stephen had access to invisible resources denied to most people w als.. given the nature of als as a disease that destroys body while leaving the intellect intact, an abstract thinker was in an ideal position to ‘live a life of the mind’.. hawking did not see his body’s deterioration as impairing the role that he chose for himself.. may have enhanced it..
hawking .. never seemed to feel comfortable in his body.. he jabbered rather than talked clearly..
jane hawking notes in her memoir that ‘curiously, as his gait became more unsteady so his opinions became more forceful and defiant.
a rich body of evidence, drawn from animal studies and human experience, supports the impression of cancer patients that emotional stress is a major contributing cause of breast malignancy… contrary to the assertions fo the toronto researchers, the ‘evidence for genetics’ is not high..
one of the chief ways that emotions act biologically in cancer causation is thru the effect of hormones. some hormones – estrogen for ie – encourage tumour growth. others enhance cancer development by reducing the immune system’s capacity to destroy malignant cells.. hormone production is intimately affected by psychological stress
barbara ellen was a sensitive child w health problems..
she had to work too hard around you
barbara develops a huge intellect in order to feel comfortable. i believe that’s because you were not able to give her the emotional sustenance that she needed when she was small..
when the parent can’t put in the work to maintain the relationship, then the child has to. she does so be being a good girl.. she does it by being precocious, by being intellectually mature..
when she reaches the age of abstract thought, around age thirteen or fourteen, when these connections in the brain actually happen, all of a sudden she becomes your intellectual sounding board. the relationship is based not on her needs but more on yours. with the incident of that boy trying to climb on her, she protects you from her emotional pain by not telling you. she doesn’t let you know about it. she is taking care of you
she wants to keep peace in the family. that’s not the child’s role.
none of this is deliberate. it all goes back to your own experience as a child.
suppressing anger (leading to cancers.. et al).. it all comes from the early need to build the relationship with the parent, to work at the relationship..
betty: why can’t parents see their children’s pain? gabor: i’ve had to ask myself the same thing. it’s because we haven’t seen our own.
if you think of it only in terms of you and barbara, you’re going to feel more guilt – you may accuse yourself of things that wouldn’t be fair to you. the fact is, you are the product of a certain upbringing an da certain kind of life..
for the child, the bigger wound is the experience with the mother. you come from the mother’s body and you relate to the mother. the mother is the universe for us. it’s the universe that lets us down. . when the father comes along as an abusive threatening figure, the universe protects us or the universe doesn’t protect us..
not saying it’s the mother’s fault.. i’m talking only about the child’s experience.. the child doesn’t know it, since you can’t miss what you’re not familiar with, but the child is actually experiencing abandonment by the mom.. when you say ‘that wouldn’t have washed’ what you’re really saying is that your mother had no way of hearing your root feelings. we don’t tend to think of that as wounding bu it is a deeper wound than anything else.
no one to blame.. generations upon generations..
if smoking caused lung cancer, every smoker would develop the disease..
the risk of lung cancer, kissen found, was five times higher in men who lacked the ability to express emotion effectively.. the more severe the repression, the less the smoke damage required to result in cancer..t
from @ultimape while i’m tweeting these out:
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918233750135296000
@monk51295 less mucus = immunocompromised. Higher chance of freak mutation in apoptosis leading to higher rates of cancer.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918234141824516108
@monk51295 also fits a partial causitive theory of Alzheimer’s being result of fungal plaques build up in brain.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918234448809865217
@monk51295 and explanatory of a partial causal theory symptom cascade in autism.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918234815228534785
@monk51295 cancer, autism, and alzheimer all have many weak causes + hard to narrow it down. Why i’m excited about microbiome!
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918235129507663872
@monk51295 Genetic factor leads to brain structure, but also microbiome variation due to higher stress load and natural bias to immune system weakness.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918235753284501504
@monk51295 “Social behavior affects the microbiome”
“The microbiome affects social behavior”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ultimape/status/918237427025809408
microbiome (online defn):
the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment.“understanding the microbiome—human, animal, and environmental—is as important as the human genome”
(10 yr study in cvrenka in former yugoslavia).. the results indicated that for lung cancer to occur, tobacco alone is not enough: emotional repression must somehow potentiate the effects of smoke damage on the body..t
begs rat park
‘sickness behavior’.. which illustrates the action of immune products on the brain. a group of chemicals called cytokines, secreted by immune cells, can induce the feelings.. fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and increased need for sleep. distressing as they are, such rapid adaptations are designed to conserve energy, helping us to overcome illness.. inappropriate secretion of the same substances however, would interfere with normal functioning,, fo ie.. by causing excessive fatigue or chronic fatigue..
depression: a mental state in which repression of anger dominates emotional functioning.. t
from feldercarb when i tweeted this
@monk51295 “Depression is impotent anger.” – my psych prof in 1984
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Feldercarb/status/918249226680770560
in short, for cancer causation it is not enough that dna damage occur: also necessary are failure of dna repair and/or an impairment of regulated cell death. stress and the repression of emotion can negatively affect both of those processes…
disease, in other words, is not a simple result of some external attack but develops in a vulnerable host in whom the internal environment has become disordered..t
begs rat park
ovarian malignancy is only the 7th most common cancer in women, but it is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths….
chronically missed periods…. more dysfunctional attitudes.. particularly those associated with need for approval.. more likely.. to endorse attitudes vulnerable to depression, such as perfectionist standards .. concern about judgement of others..
major finding of pittsburgh researchers was the discover of subtly but significantly disturbed eating habits in non-menstruating women. troubled eating patterns are inextricably linked w unresolved childhood issues..
in turn, dietary habit intimately affect the functioning of the hormones that influence the female reproductive tract..
disturbances of ovulation.. could lead to significant health risks..
chief among these hormone-sensitive tissues is the immune system..
once a cancer reaches the stage where its cells surfaces display molecules diff from the normal body proteins, it ought to be destroyed by immune responses of many diff kinds… under conditions of chronic stress, the immune system may become either too confused to recognized the mutated cell clones that form the cancer or too debilitated to mount an effective attack against them..
in popular mythology, cancer has to be ‘caught early’ before it has a chance to spread. the biological reality is quite diff: by the time a tumour becomes detectable, spread has, in many cases, already occurred..
the issue, therefore, is not simply the prevention of spread, but why and under what conditions in some people already existing dormant deposits convert into clinical cancer.. tumour dormancy..highly susceptible to life stresses..
in numerous studies of cancer, the most consistently identified risk factor is the inability to express emotion, particularly the feelings associated with anger.. the repression of anger is not an abstract emotional trait that mysteriously leads to disease. it is a major risk factor because it increases physiological stress on the organism.. it does not act alone but in conjunction w other risk factors .. such as hopelessness and lack of social support. the person who does not feel or express ‘negative’ emotion will be isolated even if surrounded by friends, because his real self is not seen.. the sense of hopelessness follows from the chronic inability to be true to oneself on the deepest level..
gilda radner – relationship w mother .. negative.. marked w competition for father’s attention.. father had been ‘the love of my life’ his death of brain cancer, when she was twelve, was an irreparable loss.. all her adult life.. out of sheer desperation, sought male love and acceptance. ‘to a great extent my life has been controlled by the men i love’ she wrote..
she became a natural comic. the price was the obliteration of her own feelings..
only close to her death did gilda finally learn that she could not be mother to the world..
still have no evidence that treatment works .. if treatment doesn’t work, why are we using the psa to look for tumors..?.. if anything.. prostate cancer morality rates were slightly higher in the intensely screened areas..
also.. findings.. that men aggressively treated for prostate cancer had a higher chance of dying of other cancers than men who did not receive any medical intervention..
researchers have suggested that hormones may be overstimulating the pigment-producing cells.. (malignant skin lesions)
cancer patients, to a statistically significant degree, were more likely to demo the following traits: elements of denial/repression of anger/neg emotions; external appearance of nice/good/person; suppression of reactions which may offend others; avoidance of conflict..; self reports childhood or adult unhappiness..
there were striking similarities between those who had been diagnosed w cancer and the suicide group..
it is stress – not personality per se – that undermines a body’s physiological balance and immune defences, predisposing to disease or reducing the resistance to it
common to all.. a diminished capacity for emotional communication..
the learning occurs.. or fails to occur.. during childhood
much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood..t
what we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted..
people often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. they may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits.. , ie: control freak.. in reality.. there is no innate human inclination to be controlling.. what there is in a ‘controlling’ personality id seep anxiety..
the drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style..t
in quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, i have never heard anyone with cancer or any chronic illness or condition say yes to : when, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to.. even when he/she was the one who triggered your negative emotions..?
many children are conditions in this manner not because of any intended harm/abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger, or sadness they sense in their child – or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention..
‘my mother/father needed me to be happy’ is the simple formula that trained many a child.. later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult.. into lifelong patterns of repression..
beyond their functions of digestion and absorption, the intestines are also one of the body’s major barriers to invasion.. whatever is in the gut is simply passing thru and still belongs to the external world.. only after penetrating the bowel lining do substances and organisms enter the body proper.. since this protective function of the gut tissue is critical to well-being, it is generously supplied with its own local immune system, one that works in coordination with the body’s general immune defences..
inflammation is an ingenious process invoked by the body to isolate and destroy hostile organisms or noxious particles.. to facil defensive function the lining.. of bowel is in a ‘state of perpetually controlled or orchestrated inflammation’ that is its normal state in healthy people..
the powerful destructive forces of the immune apparatus must be minutely regulated and kept in such a balance that they are able to carry out their policing duties w/o harming the delicate body tissues they are charged w defending..
some substance promote inflammation; others inhibit it. if the balance is upset, disease can result..
a diminished capacity by the gut to mount an inflammatory response would invite life-threatening infections.. an inability to dampen inflammation exposes gut tissue to self-injury..
many if not all aspects of gut physiology may be regulated by neuroimmune factors – canadian researchers
the nervous system is deeply influenced by emotions..in turn nervous system is intimately involved in regulation of immune responses and of inflammation
in the gut, immune cells are closely associated with nerve cells
the gut is much more than an organ of digestion.. it is a sensory apparatus w a nervous(immune) system of its own,..t.. intimately connected to the brain’s emotional centres.. ie: gut wrenching.. gut feelings .. pleasant/unpleasant.. are part of body’s normal response to the world.. they help us to interpret what is happening around us and inform us whether we are safe or in danger..
its (guts) functioning is inseparable from the psychological processing that each moment gauges and reacts to the stimuli presented to us by the environment.. the ability of gut tissue to maintain its integrity is heavily influenced by psychological factors,..t.. and its resistance to inflammation and even to malignant change is also vulnerable to emotional stress..
most people think of the placebo as a simple matter of imagination, a case of ‘mind over matter.’ although induced by thought or emotion, the placebo effect is entirely physiological. it is the activation of neurological and chemical process in the body that serve to reduce symptoms or to promote healing..t
dr hershfield proposes that it could be useful to study what is diff about people who improve on placebos.. what kind of people are they.. what kind of environment to they live in.. is there something from past experience that produces response.. what kind of lives do they lead..are they content ..? ..
when he asked them.. answers are uniformly revealing. .. hershfield’s article concluded w a sensible suggestion, .. ‘perhaps include instruction to colleagues.. all ills of humanity can’t be solve by et another endoscopy/biopsy/… another ‘hightech’ procedure that only confirm but doesn not heal’
not to suggest the cure for ibd is to ie down and relax one’s toes. but significant in my friend’s experience was his immediate decision to take charge..
hershfield implies.. not the latest tech or miracle drug, but encouraging the patient’s capacity to heal may provide the ultimate answer to inflammatory bowel disease.. the 55% solution.. (response to placebo)
irritable bowel syndrome – medical terminology calls it a functional disorder.. functional refers to a condition win which the symptoms are not explainable by anatomical/pathological/biochemical abnormality or by infection. doctors are accustomed to rolling their eyes when faced with a patient who has functional symptoms, since functional is medical code for ‘all in the head‘.. yes .. in brain.. but not in pejorative and dismissive sense that the phrase implies..
if we lose touch with gut feeling the world becomes less safe..t
pain in the gut is one signal the body uses to send messages that are difficult for us to ignore. pain is a mode of perception. physiologically, the pain pathways channel info that we have blocked from reaching us by more direct routes… pain is a powerful secondary mode of perception to alert us when our primary modes have shut down.. provides us w data that we ignore at our peril..t
alzheimers: becoming baby boomers nightmare; financial costs are enormous, as is the physical and emotional burden on caregivers..
how can those of sound mind imagine the suffering experienced by someone who helplessly witnesses his memory/intellect/self dissolve into infantile chaos..
the forgetting by david shenk: you can feel yourself, your whole inside and outside, break down
book on hold at library
one of first structures to deteriorate in alzheimer’s is the hippocampus.. active in memory formation and has an important function in stress regulation. .. chronically high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can shrink the hippocampus.. t
early relationships may be crucial in the later development of dementia..
swift’s (author of gulliver’s travels) long repressed anger toward his mother (for abandoning him) would erupt later not only in misogynistic writings but also in his relationships w women.. the only possible emotional outlets are limited, unthreatening ones with powerless and submissive women
aluminum.. and tangles/plaques found in brains of those w alzheimers.. consequence of the degenerative process.. not the cause..
alzheimer’s as one of the disease on the spectrum of autoimmune conditions, along w multiple sclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and many others.. these are the diseases in which the body’s immune system turns against the self.. in auto immune illness, there is blurring between what is self and non-self-foreign matter to be attacked..t
the autoimmune disease all entail imbalances in the body’s physiological stress- regulation system, in particular.. set off by hypothalamus.. this surge of hormones culminates in the release of cortisol and adrenalin … excessive production of cortisol.. paralleled by degree of damage to the hippocampus..
cai song: i am convinced that alzheimer’s’ is an autoimmune disease.. probably triggered by chronic stress acting on aging immune system..t
repression of negative emotions.. as a result of early deprivation – is a chronic and significant source of damaging stress...
if the shutting down of emotion occurs early enough, during the critical phases of brain development, the capacity to recognize reality may become permanently impaired.. t .. ie: selective memory
reality of what is self and non self.. immune system impaired..
‘i could feel no resentment’ reveals the young man’s rage at his father.. confirmation by denial
such instances do not indicate that the person has no emotions; someone truly lacking attachment could at least pretend to possess some fellow feeling. on the contrary, the emotions can be too overwhelming to be experienced consciously.. but they are physiologically all the more active
once again – avoiding the experience of emotion in fact exposes people to greater and longer lasting physiological stress.. because they are unaware of their own internal states, they are less able to protect themselves from the consequences of stress..
the healthy expression of emotion is itself stress-reducing..
emotional poverty.. disguised by sentiment..
now, at beginning of 21st cent, one may search in vain thru the mainstream medical texts for any mention of stress in relationship to rheumatoid arthritis or to its fellow autoimmune conditions all characterized by a civil war of the immune system against body..
large overlapping set of medical conditions called rheumatic diseases include… in these disorders,, an in many others, a disturbed immune system reacts against the body’s own tissues.. these illnesses are characterized by various patterns of inflammation … joints, skin, lining of eyes, heart, lungs.. brain..
characteristic of many persons w rheumatoid diseases is a stoicism carried to an extreme degree, a deeply ingrained reticence about seeking help..
the non-complaining stoicism exhibited by rheumatoid patients is a coping style acquired early in life.
common characteristic: compensating hyperindependence.. belief that could get thru everything by self.. a coping mech.. a compensation for emotional needs ignored in childhood.. survive by pretending she has no needs she can’t take care of herself..
69 – john bowlby – published attachment.. first of trilogy exploring influence of parent-child relationships on personality developments..
role reversal w a parent skews the child’s relationship with the whole world.. it predisposes to stress
ie: angry child got into trouble and experienced rejection.. anger and rejection had to be deflected inside, against the self, in order to preserve the attachment ..t .. relationship w the parent..
that in turn leads to the ‘strong feelings of inadequacy and a poor self concept’ researchers have recognized in people w rheumatoid disease.. anger redirected away from an attachment figure who aroused it and aimed instead at the self.. t.. in appropriate self-criticism results..
in autoimmune disease, the body’s defences turn against the self. in the life of a society – the body politic – such behavoir would be denounced as treason.. attack body as if foreign..t
for anger to be deployed appropriately, the organism has to distinguish between threat and non -threat. the fundamental differentiation to be made is between self and non-self.. if i don’t know where my own boundaries begin and end, i cannot know when something potentially dangerous is intruding on them..
we’re missing our interconnectedness.. our one ness.. and ongoingly.. attacking ourselves as foreign – body and society..
the necessary distinctions between.. familiar and foreign, benign or harmful.. require an accurate appraisal of self and non self..t
for immune system of one person and whole body/world
anger: both a recognition of the foreign and dangerous and a response to it..
immune system must have: recognition; memory; learning (new memories); ..
w immune cells found in bloodstream and in all tissues and spaces of body, we may think of immune system as a ‘floating brain’ equipped to detect the non-self.. the sensory apparatus.. the eyes/ears/taste-buds.. serving this ‘floating brain’ are receptors on the surfaces of immune cells, configure to know benign from noxious..
much like we would be if we realized our interconnectedness..
self is id’d by means of so called self-antigens.. on the membranes of body’s normal cells, molecules that the immune receptors infallibly recognize. foreign organism and substances lack such self-markers.. making them targets for immune system..
let’s try this as marker: nationality: human
lymphocytes.. must manage to repel innumerable different kinds of invading organism and yet not attack the body..
the point to grasp here is the shared functions of immunity and emotion.. 1\ awareness.. of self.. non-self.. 2\ appreciation of nourishing inputs and threats .. 3\ acceptance of life enhancing influences.. paralleled w/capacity to limit/eliminate danger
many studies of asthmatic children and adults have documented a strong association between disease severity and emotional states triggered by relationships.. (asthma being more about ability to breathe out than to breathe in)
in his (salvador minuchin) highly sensitive children pick up subconscious cues from the environment, particularly about the emotional states of their parents..
at any age our responses to potential stressors are deeply influenced by the degree to which our emotional functioning continues to be dominated by our attachment needs, fears, and anxieties.
what is unbalanced is the relationship so that the women are absorbing their husband’s stresses and anxieties while also having to contain their own
interpretive labor et al
kerr: as in case w emotional dysfunctions, the one prone to develop symptoms is the spouse who adapts most to maintain harmony in the relationship system
whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress..
if i chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself ‘acceptable’ to other people, i increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness..
other way of protecting self.. is emotional shutdown.. this coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity.. those who build wall against intimacy are not self-regulated just emotionally frozen…
for the adult, therefore, biological stress regulation depends on a delicate balance between social and relationship security on the one hand, and genuine autonomy on the other.
animals and humans interact from their respective limbic systems.. the brain’s emotional pats. unlike people, animals are acutely sensitive to messages from the limbic brain – both their own and that of their owners.. how does it come about that a human being would need a rabbit to let her know when she is upset? the simple answer is childhood conditioning..t
no infant is born w a propensity to repress the expression of emotion ..t..- quite the contrary.. but.. change/condition from need to survive..
it is intuitively easy to understand why abuse, trauma, or extreme neglect in childhood would have negative consequences.. but why do many people develop stress-related illness w/o having been abused or traumatized..? these persons suffer not because something negative was inflicted on them but because something positive was withheld…
s levin and h ursin in what is stress: stress stimuli.. indicate that something is missing or about to disappear and that this something is highly relevant and desirable to the organism..
parental love is not simply a warm and pleasant emotional experience, it is a biological condition essential for healthy physiological and psychological development.. parental love and attention drive the optimal maturation of the circuitry of the brain..
life dependent on parents.. human depends on adults much longer than offspring of any other species.. ie: horse can run on first day of life..
immediately after birth, human brain, alone among mammalian brains, continues to grow at same rate outside as it did inside.. first months and beyond.. an astoundingly rapid and complex development of nerve connections/synapses..
ie: an infant w perfectly good eyes at birth would become irreversibly blind if he were confined to a dark room for five years.. t..because circuitry of vision needs the stimulation of light waves for its development..
a fundamental goal of human development is the emergence of self-sustaining, self-regulated human being who can live in concert w fellow human beings in a social context.. t.. vital for the healthy development of the neurobiology for self-regulating in the child is a relationship with the parent in which the latter sees and understands the child’s feelings and can respond with the attuned empathy to the child’s emotional cues.. infants/small children don’t have capacity to regulate emotional states, and ..physiologically at risk for exhaustion and even death if not regulated by the interaction with the parent.. closeness with parent.. serves to preserve the infant’s biological regulation..
self-regulation requires the coordinated activities of anatomically separate brain areas.. oldest part of brain and most essential for life. is the brain stem.. primitive survival impulses of the reptilian brain .. hunger, thirst, cardio/respiratory drives.. body temp.. newest part.. neocortex in front of the brain.. processes the most highly evolved activities of the human brian.. this prefrontal cortex modulates responses to world not in terms of primitive drives but in terms of learned info..
mediating between the regulatory processes of the cortex and the basic survival functions of brain stem is the limbic emotional apparatus.. the limbic system includes structure located between the cortex and brain stem and other parts of cortex.. the limbic system is essential for survival.. w/o it the regulatory and thinking capacities of the cortex would function like the brain of an idiot savant: intellectual knowledge would be disconnected from real knowledge of the world…
emotions interpret the world for us..
the brain structure responsible for experience and modulation of emotions.. develop in response to parental input, just as visual circuitry develop in response to light..t
limbic reads.. emotional messages of parent
the circuits responsible for the secretion of important neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine – essential for mod stability arousal motivation and attention .. are stimulated and become coordinated in the context of the child’s relationships with his caregivers..
future relationship will have as their templates nerve circuits laid down in our relationship with our earliest caregivers.. we will understand ourselves as we have felt understood, love ourselves as we perceived being love on the deepest unconscious levels, care for ourselves with as much compassion as, at our core, we perceived as young children..
the disruption of attachment relationship in infancy and childhood may have long-term consequences for the brain’s stress – response apparatus and for the immune system..t
for the satisfaction of attachment needs in human beings, more than physical proximity and touching is required.. equally essential is a nourishing emotional connection.. in particular the quality of attunement.. parent is ‘tuned in’ to the child’s emotional needs.. subtle process..deeply instinctive.. but easily subverted when parent is stressed or distracted emotionally.. financially of any other reason..
may also be absent if parent never received it in childhood..
strong attachment and love exist in many parent child relationships but w/o attunement..
children in non attuned relationship may feel loved but on a deeper level do not experience themselves as appreciate for who they really are.. they learn to present only their ‘acceptable’ side to the parent.. repressing emotional responses the parent rejects and learning to reject themselves for even having such responses..
called proximate separation.. parents are physically present but emotionally absent.. ie: when parent looks away first from child during one of their intensely pleasurable eye to eye gaze interactions; parent insists on stimulating a resting child because parent desire mutual engagement..
such parent child interactions are increasingly the norm in our hyperstressed society..
happens on unconscious level.. won’t be remembered.. but entrenched as the biology of loss.. so will be repeated in adult life..
where parenting fails to communicate unconditional acceptance to the child it is because of the fact that the child receives the parent’s love not as the parent wishes but as it is refracted thru the parent’s personality..
the child does not learn the parenting styles of his mother/father by imitation – or only in part. the biggest influence on the future parenting style of the child is the development of his emotional and attachment circuits in the context of his relationship w his parents..
canadian researchers: maternal care during infancy serves to ‘program’ behavioural responses to stress in the offspring by altering the development of the neural systems that mediate fearfulness.. in short.. anxious mothers.. anxious offspring
blame becomes a meaningless concept if one understands how family history stretches back thru the generations..t
the issue is the unintentional transmission of stress and anxiety across the generations
such lies, however innocently intended, never protect a child from pain.. there is something in us that knows when we are lied to, even if that awareness never reaches consciousness..
cancer and the autoimmune disease of various sorts are, by and large, diseases of civilization..t
while industrialized society organized along the capitalist model has solved many problems for many of its members – such as housing, food supply and sanitation – it has also created numerous new pressures even for those who do not need to struggle for the basics of existence…
we have come to take these stresses for granted as inevitable consequences of human life.. as if human life existed in an abstract form separable from the human beings who live it..t
seen more clearly in people who only recently have come to experience urban civilizations.. ie: zulu; bedoins & other nomadic arabs;..
the main effect of recent trends on the family under the prevailing socio-economic system , accelerated by the current drive to ‘globalization’ has been to undermine the family structure and to tear asunder the connections thae used to provide human beings with a sense of meaning and belonging.. the nexus previously based in extended family, village, community, neighbourhood, has been replaced by institutions such as daycare and school (and retirement homes) where children are more oriented to their peers than to reliable parents or parent substitutes..
even the nuclear family, supposedly the basic unit of the social structure is under intolerable pressure. in many families .. both parents are having to work to assure the basic necessities one salary could secure a few decades ago.. separation of infants from mothers and all other types of relocation which leave few possibilities for interpersonal contact are very common forms of sensory deprivation.. they may become major factors in disease – wrote the prescient hans selye..
in tuesday w morrie, mitch albom reports that morrie schwartz, his former prof terminally ill w als ‘was intent on proving that the word ‘dying ‘ was not synonymous w ‘useless”
the immediate question is why one would have a need to prove this.. no human being is ‘useless’.. the point is not to prove that dying people can be useful but to reject the spurious concept that people need to be useful in order to be valued.. t
this is key to problem with commons tangled up w/coop (where have to put work in to get commons out)
morrie learned at a young age that his ‘value’ depended on his ability to serve the needs of others..that same message, taken to heart by many people early in life, is heavily reinforced by the prevailing ethic in our society..all too frequently, people are given the sense that they are valued only for their utilitarian contribution and are expendable if they lose their economic worth
one of most important life conditions that determine whether individuals stay healthy or become ill is their income.. the overall health of north american society may be more determined by the distribution of income among its members rather than the overall wealth of the society..
many studies find that socioeconomic circumstance, rather than medical and lifestyle risk factors, are the main causes of cardiovascular disease
nucleus is not the brain of the cell.. the brain is our organ of decision making and it is the brain that acts as our interface w the environment.. in the life of the individual cell, not the nucleus but the cell membrane fulfills the functions analogous to the activities of the brain..
in human embryological development, both the nervous system and the skin stem from the same tissue, the ectoderm.. individual cells use their membrane as both skin and nervous system…. has on its surface millions of molecular receptors.. that act as the cell’s sensory organs.. interpret messages.. also facils exchange of substances/messages w/environ.. the cell’s ‘decision making’ also takes place in the membrane and not in the nucleus, where the cells’ genetic material is located..
as soon as we understand this fundamental biological reality, we are able to see past the popular assumption that genes are all-decisive in human behaviour and health..
human genetics/genome project.. good info uncovered.. but very little can be expected that will lead to broad health benefits in near future.. if ever..
genes are merely codes.. they act as a set of rules and a biological template for the synthesis of the proteins that give each particular cell its characteristic structure and functions.. they are as it were, alive and dynamic architectural and mechanical plans.. whether the plan becomes realized depends on far more than the gene itself..
activities of cells defined not simply by genes.. but by req’s of entire organism and by interaction of that organism w/environment in which it must survive
genes are turned on or off by the environment.. for this reason.. the greatest influences on human development, health and behaviour are those of the nurturing environment..
given the paucity of evidence for any decisive role of genetic factors in most question of illness/health, why all the hoopla about the genome project.. why the pervasive genetic fundamentalism..?
hans selye: the unacknowledged assumptions of the scientist will often limit and define what will be discovered..
settling for the view that illnesses, mental or physical, are primarily genetic allows us to avoid disturbing questions about the nature of the society in which we live..
if ‘science’ enables us to ignore poverty or man-made toxins or a frenetic and stressful social culture as contributors to disease, we can look only to simple answers: pharmacological and biological.. such an approach helps to justify and preserve prevailing social values/structure.. it may also be profitable..
a key point in dr lipton’s astute explanation of biological activity is that at any one time, cells – like the entire human organism – can be either in defensive mode or growth mode but not both..t
when early environ influences are chronically stressful.. perceptions are programmed in our cells on the molecular level…. tha tworld is unsafe/hostile.. the biology of belief (lipton)
unconscious beliefs embedded at the cellular level..these ‘control’ our behaviours no matter what we may think on the conscious level.. they keep us in shut-down defensive modes or allow us to open to growth and to health…
most parents feel unconditional love for their children, and that is what they hope to get across to them. that is important to know, but it is not what matters.
what matters are the child’s unconscious perceptions, based on his innermost interpretations of his interactions w the world. those interpretations, embedded at the cellular level, constitute the biology of belief that governs so much of what we feel, what we do and how we react to events..
major contributor to genesis of many diseases: an overload of stress induced by unconscious beliefs.. if we would heal, it is essential to begin the painfully incremental task of reversing the biology of belief we adopted very early in life
hastened by: 1\mech to facil chaos of.. 2\ all of us doing/being it at once
the healing agent lies w/in.. the internal milieu must be changed.. to know again.. our lives..
begs 2 convos
whichever modality of treatment people choose… the key to healing is the individual’s active, free and informed choice..
karen gelmon does not favour the war metaphors often applied to cancer.. ‘it suggests it’s all a battle.. what happens to our body is a matter of flow.. we need to understand that flow.. not a battle, it’s a push-pull phenom of finding balance and harmony..’
what we call the military theory of disease sees illness as a hostile force.. something foreign that the organism must battle and defeat.. such a view leaves important question unanswered.. why will sam bacterium /virus spare one person but fell another.. what accounts for diff..?
19th cent – pasteur insisted that the virulence of the microbe decided the course of illness.. barnard.. that the host body was most responsible.. on deathbed.. pasteur recanted.. : barnard was right.. the microbe is noting, the ground (body/host) is everything
ultimape on microbiomes..
it may be easier and more financially rewarding to research isolated causes such as microbes and genes, but as long as we ignore a broader perspective, disease will always be of unknown etiology..t.. a search outside where the light shines will not yield us the key to health; we have to look inside, where it is dark and murky..
no disease has a single cause.. vulnerabilities do not exist in isolation
we cannot remind ourselves too often that the word healing derives from an ancient origin, meaning ‘whole’ ..t.. to heal is to become whole..
but how can we be more whole than we already are? or how is it that we could ever be less than whole..?
that which is complete may become deficient in two possible ways: something could be subtracted.. or its internal harmony could be perturbed enough to no longer work together..
stress is a disturbance of the body’s internal balance..
in response to perceived threat, including the threat of some essential need being denied..
insight is more helpful to people than advice..
if we gain the ability to look into ourselves with honesty, compassion and with unclouded vision, we can identify the ways we need to take care of ourselves.. t..we can see the areas of the self formerly hidden in the dark..
the potential for wholeness, for health, resides in all of us, as does the potential for illness and disharmony.. disease is disharmony.. more accurately, it is an expression of an internal disharmony.. if illness is seen as foreign and external, we may end up waging war against ourselves..
first step: abandon attachment to positive thinking.. for.. thinking..
compulsive optimism .. one of ways we bind anxiety to avoid confronting it.. that form of positive thinking is the coping mech of the hurt child – michael kerr
in order to heal, it is essential to gather the strength to think negatively.. a willingness to consider what is not working.. what is not in balance.. what have i ignored.. what is my body saying no to..? w/o these questions.. stresses responsible for lack of balance will remain hidden
one cannot be autonomous as long as one is driven by relationship dynamic, by guilt or attachment needs, by hunger for success, by fear of boss or by fear of boredom.. because..
autonomy is impossible as long as one is driven by anything..t
let go.. of the things you have to cling to
explore the experience of the void rather than attempt to fill it with positive deeds..t
the more they tune out their anxiety via ‘positive thoughts’ denial of daydreaming, the longer that stress will act on them and the more damaging it will be.. when one lacks capacity to fell heat, risk of being burned increases..
many people are blocked from self-knowledge and personal growth by the myth they feel compelled to hold on to, of having had a ‘happy childhood’.. a little negative thinking would empower them to see thru the self-delusion that helps keep them stuck
the way it works i believe is that self worth originates from how valued one feels by one’s parents..
there is no depiction of the frustration a child feels when the significant adults do not know how to listen..t
it’s not others’ expectations and intentions but the perception we have of them that serves as the stressor…t
most of our tension s and frustrations stem from compulsive needs to act the role of someone we are not – hans selye..t
do i live my life according to my own deepest truths, or in order to fulfill someone else’s expectations..
if you face the choice between feeling guilt and resentment, choose the guilt every time (means doing something for self).. resentment is soul suicide..
7 a’s of healing
people who can’t understand words are better at picking up lies about emotions.. nature magazine may 2000
those internal reactions, gut feelings, are what we lost as we grew up..
we can learn to read symptoms not only as problems to be overcome but as messages to be heeded..
both repression and rage represent a fear of the genuine experience of anger.. – allen kalpin
the locus of control is from inside ourselves.. development of that internal centre of control
we sometimes find it easier to feel bitterness or rage than to allow ourselves to experience that aching desire for contact that, when disappointed, originally engendered the anger.. behind all our anger likes deeply frustrated need for truly intimate contact.. we no longer need fear emotional vulnerability.. seeking connections is a necessity for healing..t
that we are who we are.. challenges core belief that we must somehow justify our existence..t.. it is being irrespective of action.. may be the very opposite of action.. letting go of the need to act
honour the urge
so.. affirmation is a and a.. maté basic needs law
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