Psychosomatic

“What you don’t deal with mentally you will deal with physically.”

The above quote comes from one of my professors in graduate school, but I am positive he got it from out of one of the half dozen text books he made us read during our 2.5 years together. In any case, that quote has proved to be one of the most truest sayings and piece of knowledge I ever received.

Imagine being upset with your spouse about something, but never saying anything about it because you don’t want to “rock the boat” so you hold it in. Then you go to work where your boss constantly berates you, but again, you don’t say anything despite how angry he makes you. You keep all this stuff bottle in, and then you start suffering from migraine headaches or a stomach ulcer or anxiety attacks… you think they’re all unrelated when in reality it’s very likely that those physical ailments are being caused by your psychological stressors. I hope I’m not getting to technical at this point, but many things from colds to terminal illnesses could possibly have a psychological link to them. Think about the people you know who break out when they’re stressed or get gas.

Case example: For the past couple of weeks my blood pressure had been high, I had a migraine headache and all for no apparent reason. There had been no change in my diet or excercise plan and my doctor and I couldn’t understand what was going on. Then I thought about it. I had been stressing about a lot of different things, not really dealing with them but continuously pushing them to the back of my mind. Once I realized that, I started dealing with my stressors and trying to relax more. In the span of a week or so my systolic and diastolic pressures both dropped abut 20mmhg!

Think about what you’re feeling, how you are or aren’t dealing with it and the effects it could be having on your health now or in the future. One research paper I read stated that undealt with stress and depression could increase the risk of tumors and cancer. Take care of yourself both physically and mentally and live the best life you can.

***I haven’t had the chance to edit this yet so please forgive any typos/errors***

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Self-Mutilation

When I first started this post I was going to write a long detailed post about self-mutilation, and I still can if you are interested, but I decided basically to get to the point of what’s on my mind.

The other day I saw a young beautiful, 18 year old college student who came into the hospital with approximately 50 razor blade cuts to each leg and the words “I am alive” carved into her left hand. This young woman is what we call a “cutter”, she cuts to soothe her emotional pain and to feel alive as the words etched into her blooded palm stated.

There was very little I could do for this young woman in the short amount of time I had with her for numerous reasons, but most importantly because she was in denial of her issues and I probably has borderline personality disorder (a lot of cutters have this disorder). I did try to offer her something, and the reason i am writing this post is because i want to offer it to all cutters as a way of at least initially soothing the hurt.

The next time you feel like seeing blood or hurting yourself, don’t pick up a razor, instead, pick up a red marker or red finger nail polish and mark on yourself the same way you would with the razor. The red will help give the allusion of blood without actually having to cut yourself. Even better, pick up a ice cube and hold it tightly in your hand. Let that pain serve as the pain of the sting from the razor. I propose this as just temporary fixes for the immediate and sometimes impulsive need to caught, but seeking therapy is most likely the only way to truly alleviate the pain behind the cutting. And if you really want help I can put you in touch with the right people or in the least, recommend a number of self-help books that can help you stop hurting.