Day 5: I wish medicine would accept the mind/body connection
I wish that medicine would stop separating the mind and the body as if they exist in parallel universes. I wish that medicine would acknowledge that emotional and psychological issues impact physical health and the healing process. I wish medical professionals would do a more thorough history, in order to understand what underlying issues a person may be experiencing that are impacting their health.
This wish started after a conversation with an emergency room doctor’s comment about my client who was having chest pain. I began to explain my client was under increased stress as a caregiver for a very ill husband. The doctor stopped me mid sentence and replied, stress has nothing to do with cardiac events. My thought was “Hello Earth to Doctor, are you an Alien?”
I wondered if this same doctor looked at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the same way that the body and mind have no link. In this syndrome, a physical traumatic event, large or small, occurs and is followed months/years later by psychological symptoms like panic attacks, acute anxiety or depression. The diagnosis is missed so often because the right questions are not asked and only the symptoms are treated.
I wish psychiatrists, psychologists and family doctors prescribed, along with medication, physical therapy or occupational therapy and/or exercise as part of treatment. I always hear “got to fix the psychiatric symptoms and then look at the other aspects.” I wish they would see the mind and body as one unit working in partnership.
As I was writing this blog, I found myself humming this classic song by Frank Sinatra:
“Love and Marriage….. Go together like a Horse and Carriage…You can’t have one, without the other.” As I see it, the mind and body, go together like the Horse and Carriage!