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Mind-Body Connection

Posted Jul 24 2007 12:00am

Alright, let’s see if I can pull this off since my brain is mush and I am not feeling up to par. But that’s a nice beginning, don’t you think? Now I’m sure many people could do a much better job at this but it’s been on my “mind” since I’ve been feeling so physically ill.

The mind-body connection is also referred to in the Almighty Wikipedia as The Biopsychosocial Model. Fine, semantics. It explores the fact that quote:

“…biological, psychological and social issues are interlinked systems of the body, similar to organ systems such as for instance the respiratory and cardiovascular system.

Further:

The biopsychosocial model gives great importance to the illness[citation needed]; therefore much more information needs to be gathered during a consultation. As well as the biological signs and Symptoms, a clinician must find out about the patient’s psychological state, their feelings and beliefs about the illness, and social factors such as their relationship with families and the larger community.

For this reason, the interview process should encourage the patient to give as much information about not only the physical symptoms, but how the illness affects the patient. This is a patient-centred approach, and generally involves open-ended questions designed for the patient to do much of the talking. The patient is also better involved in the Psychotherapy, and it includes steps to get over any illness as well as the disease[citation needed], unless the disease is lifelong or progressive.

Alright, I kind of disagree with the fact that the biopsychosocial model still can’t reap benefits if a disease is “lifelong or progressive.” If nothing more, I think it might be more beneficial? Just my opinion. Maybe I’m somehow missing the boat on the model.

So yes, skipping along it states that basically there is a bidirectional (my term) relationship between mind-body and body-mind. Of course this is where I’m going with where I am feeling. Now I don’t think that what is going on with my gastrointestinal problems is the result of my mental illness(es.) Some folks have argued this point but why now? I was stable when it all seemed to happen. I know that mental illnesses can be progressive and true, of course they can affect the body but could it really be that all of my head neurology and brain chemistry caused this whirlwind of severe gastro distress so quickly?

How could that be? I have had tummy troubles all of my life but as I have always said, not to this extent and there were no great triggers.

Now that’s the mind-body. What about the body-mind? I’ve been thinking about this a lot and how it might be affecting my mental state. It could very well be dragging me down a bit and making me slightly depressed but there are a lot of other contributing factors going on. So how can I tell? And really, I am not that depressed. My meds are holding and keeping me afloat except for my concentration. That could be a combination of the Depression and ADD but I really think it’s the latter because I don’t feel sad. I just feel like a stumbly, bumbly fool most of the time that can’t get anything done. And yes, that can be attributed to Depression but I know the difference having lived with this for so many years.

I really don’t *feel* depressed. My moods may shift a little bit but I don’t want to overanalyze too much. I do that enough, believe me! All human beings’ moods shift. And yes, I am mentally ill and suffer from mood disorders and a variety of neurological craziness but…?

Which brings me to my next point. A question about the body-mind connection. If you are “sick,” in whatever form, will it affect you more mentally and psychologically if you do have a mood disorder and are mentally ill? I know that some people dealing with chronic physical illnesses just give up and that’s it. Some are fighters. But if you’re already battling a chronic mental illness, where do you fall? Perhaps it just depends upon the individual.

I mentioned in a comment that I had pretty much taken my physical health for granted as I have always been (relatively) physically healthy. Well, now I’m not. I won’t go as far as saying that what I’m dealing with is “chronic” because so far, no one seems to know what is wrong. But it has been almost a year and well, it’s taken a toll. And continues to do so.

I hope this post makes sense and I’m not sure who it will draw in for commentary…just some thoughts that have been on my mind.

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