Monday, September 17, 2007

Mind, body, spirit

I really do believe that mental and physical health are much more closely interlinked than was once recognised. We have seen undisputed evidence of that here in our own family.

So I was interested in this article about cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and how it is now proven to benefit some physical conditions as well as psychological ones. Son 1 has been receiving CBT for some time now and it is certainly working for him, improving both mental and socially crippling physical symptoms.

So I was a little surprised to read that some sufferers of ME/CFS do not accept that CBT might be helpful. To be honest I don't know enough about ME/CFS to have an educated opinion myself, and I would certainly not want to offend anyone who has the condition, but I do believe it is a very real illness and would therefore have thought that CBT might be worth a try. After all it is unlikely to do any harm and it does apparently help some sufferers. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies provides a very accessible introduction to the subject.

The OU course I have just finished was all about taking a holistic approach to that case concentrating on mental health but the principles apply equally to physical symptoms. The holistic model recognises that people have many needs, including physical, social and spiritual, all of which should be taken into consideration in a perfect care or treatment plan. Idealistic? Maybe. But surely the way to go if at all possible.

Three notable things:

1. Thanks to Trashionista, I found this interesting feature on writer's rooms at the Guardian website.

2. I am just about to start reading Graham Greene's 'The End of the Affair' as suggested by Susan Hill. I have a feeling I may have read it many years ago, but can't remember anything about it...

3. No word from Hubby in Brussels so I guess he and his friend are already stuck into the beers... I did suggest he brought me back a Kipling handbag, but just got told that I already have far too many bags. It's true. Let's hope he brings some chocolates instead!


Kore said...

Hi Cathy. While I have been crafting, you have been busy reading and writing! My bf and I buy the Saturday Guardian every week and have both been fascinated by the "Writer's Rooms". What I found most interesting about them all was the amount and type of personal items in the room. The different ways in which authors build their creative space is quite exciting. Although, I usually find myself then wanting a room of my own. Preferably with a view!
CBT is an amazing therapy that I was lucky enough to recieve after a mental health diagnosis. It helped me significantly through a particularly debilitating phase of my illness. I remember a certain amount of conflict with this though. I remember wanting to accept any treatment that might be available to help me, but remained resistant to the idea that I was "mad". It was difficult to accept. But it's value was great.
I hope you are well and enjoying your hubby free evening!

Livvy U. said...

Hello Cathy, just catching up. Congratulations on your OU result, that's wonderful, and so deserved. You have alot to contend with on a daily basis, it sounds like, and you handle it with aplomb and grace, which is so laudable.

I agree about the holistic approach in relation to health - I think it's so obvious it's so close to our noses that we miss the connection most of the time...

About life plans - no, maybe not. But goals, good, straightforward, written down goals, now those I believe in. I think writing them down produces a kind of synchronistic magic, I really do!

Oh, and can you have too many bags?
Love to you this night, Livvy x

Anonymous said...

meant to leave a comment ages ago to thank you for introducing me to Kipling bags - you can never have too many!!

Catherine said...

The mind/body link is so self evident in my opinion. To the point that I'm thinking of investing in it and pursuing a course in complementary medicine. Where will I find the time?

Well done on the OU course. You did so well to get there.

Hope he brings some Belgian chocolates. I had some recently from TMITPK who had been sailing round Holland and Belgium. They were divine. However, I would rather have had his company. He has been away a lot recently and this is very trying.

Cathy said...

NB- thanks for telling me about the CBT. Very interesting, as it supports my views. And yes, all is calm and relaxed here without Hubby....

Livvy, thank you and I guess you can't really have too many bags if you have a big enough house to store them...

fj, oh dear, I fear I may have set you off on a slippery slope. Lovely to see you here and enjoy your Kipling bags...

Marianne, a course in complementary medicine sounds fascinating.I hope you do manage to do it. Sorry you are missing the sailor, hope he will be back soon!


Honora said...

Hi Cathy,

Just found your blog and very much enjoying!

I was surprised to find an ME/CFS mention. CBT is, indeed, a remarkable method and I think probably everyone could benefit from its use.

As a practicing Buddhist, the mind/body connection is a given for me. As someone with ME, I find it frustrating that it is so difficult to fund research and treatment for the body aspect of the illness.

In the UK, ME patients have been tortured (it's not too strong a word, alas) by psychiatrists because they fail to comply and recover with CBT alone.


All the best to you,

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