Letter from D.R.–“Saving the only life I could save”

Written by Dr. Schubiner on July 28, 2008 – 10:37 pm -

 

 

Dear Dr. Schubiner,

 

For so many years, I have been taught and “programmed” to please others and basically ignore what I was feeling; because I didn’t matter.  I denied myself things such as food (anorexia), pain medications and even rest.  I even felt that I didn’t deserve to have feelings and lived with tremendous guilt.

 

I started to have pain at the age of 13 and I am now 49 years old.  I had a very difficult childhood with severe abuse and neglect and it has been reflected in pain for all these years.  I now understand that my subconscious mind caused me to have severe headaches.  They began gradually and occurred about twice a month.  But they were severe and forced me to lie in bed and cry.  The headaches started to occur more often, until they came daily and lasted for the next 20 years!  I forged on with my life; marrying, working and starting a family.  The pain finally got so horrible that I had to quit a job that I loved and held for 21 years. 

 

I was devastated, but I decided to become the best wife possible.  I was determined to be the best coupon shopper to find sales on all items, sometimes dragging two toddlers with me across town just to save 50 cents.  I tried to be the best housekeeper and stay at home Mom.  I was obsessive about everything, to the point of exhaustion.  Finally, I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for three weeks. 

Since taking your workshop and beginning therapy, I have come to an amazing revelation.  My internal child was telling me, “Hey, I matter and if you won’t listen to me, then I’ll just have to force you to pay attention.  I want some nurturing too.  Quit trying to please everyone else and be kind to me.  I deserve it.”

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Mindfulness and the Mind Body syndrome

Written by Dr. Schubiner on July 14, 2008 – 10:31 pm -

MBS Blog –  #9 Mindfulness Meditation

 

I have been a devoted and passionate teacher of mindfulness meditation for about 15 years.  Many people have misconceptions about meditation.  The most common misperception is that meditation is about relaxing.  Of course, meditation may be relaxing at times, but not always and the intent is not relaxation, but obtaining a better understanding of yourself, and learning to respond to body sensations and thoughts/emotions more deliberately, and learning to live fully in the moments of our lives.  Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that asks people to simply pay very close attention to the here and now, to the present moment, to what is happening right now, whatever that may be.  One of the great things about mindfulness is that one can practice it at any moment, no mater what you are doing or what is going on.  That makes it quite useful as a way to cope with the ups and downs of life.

 

The reason to learn mindfulness meditation techniques for people with Mind Body syndrome is that it can help a great deal in learning to live fully in the present and to learn to let go of some of the things that tend to perpetuate MBS, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, issues from the past, or worries about the future. 

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Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

Written by Dr. Schubiner on July 9, 2008 – 6:44 am -

MBS BLOG # 8

 

Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

 

Everyone knows that genes “controls” our lives.  But how powerful an influence do our genes play in our lives?  Of course, these issues have been debated for many years since the discovery of genes and the classic experiments of Gregor Mendel in 1865 on pea plants genetics.  We wonder not only at the similarities of facial features of children and their parents, but also at their personality quirks that seem to be passed down through genes.  There have been many books that purported to show that genes control everything.  So, when we are told that a certain disease is genetic.  We often assume that we are destined to be affected and that treatment may have little effect.

 

First, you must realize that there are certain genes that do have powerful effects that will produce diseases if those genes are present.  For example, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia are diseases produced by inherited genes.  If you have those genes, you will get the disease.  However, it is also clear that different people with the same genes can have differing levels of that disease, even in CF and sickle cell.

 

Other diseases have some contributions from genes, but these contributions are either minor or variable.  For example, breast cancer has been found to have genetic components, but most people with breast cancer do not have the breast cancer gene.  There are genetic contributions to asthma and migraine headaches, but these are relatively small contributions in comparison to the effects of genes on height, ADHD and schizophrenia, which have heritability factors of 0.8-0.9.  The heritability factors of asthma and migraine headaches are in the range of 0.4-0.5, i.e. much smaller effects. Read more »

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