Saturday, July 18, 2009

illness and emotions: michael jackson and deepak chopra

Maybe some of you saw on the news when Deepak Chopra was claiming that Michael Jackson's lupus was caused by childhood physical abuse. I have to say this statement was reckless and extremely not helpful to the cause of getting the public to take this illness seriously.

On the other hand, I do believe there is *some* emotional component to all disease. Our emotions are affected by our physical well-being and vice versa. And maybe some or even all illnesses are expressions of something hidden, deep and troubling. But it isn't fair to set lupus apart as a disease that is caused by emotional issues while other diseases such as cancer and MS are taken seriously and treated with compassion. Isn't it bad enough to suffer with a painful chronic illness without people throwing unfounded theories about emotional causes at us? Where's the compassion that so many other illnesses are treated with? What if lupus really is just caused by toxic overload from enviromental pollutants and vaccines? I seriously doubt that everyone with lupus was abused as a child. There are 1.5 million of us, and my parents were not perfect but they did not beat me. My troubles started shortly after a bad experience getting my wisdom teeth extracted, and subsequent allergic reaction to the drugs they gave me. Maybe we should blame dentists for all cases of lupus. Sigh.

Anyway, angry as I am about Chopra's statement- here we are, finally in the news spotlight and *this* is what is said!!!- I do entertain the idea that there are underlying *contributing factors* to disease. Louise Hay says the emotional contributors to all disease are anger and fear. Well, that at least gives me something I can work on. Everyone can benefit from letting go of anger and fear, both of which are toxic.

I had a friend who was very angry over the death of a friend of his, and he blamed the doctor. It was all he thought about, every day. He died a year later at 36 of a tumor wrapped around his heart. Symbolic, yes. A fine example of emotions manifesting physically. But we all had enough class not to sit there and say it to his face while he was suffering.

We can't single out lupus and say it's entirely caused by emotions and all the other diseases are "real" diseases caused by "real" things like germs and genes and viruses. I'm tired of being the redheaded stepchild of illness. It's real, Mr Chopra. Yes, there are emotional factors, just as there are with every single disease ever diagnosed. Anger and fear are bad for everyone. So is telling them their problem isn't real. Now I've got more anger to go deal with...
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