By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
The Health Implications of Fear & Trauma
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you are probably aware that one of my passions is empowering people with health information and real solutions. My goal continues to be to provide a holistic and scientifically valid website that encourages people to take steps within their control to find relief from what ails their body. In a big picture view, this approach that I learned through my fabulous mentors will create a shifting societal impact.
Specifically, positive and uplifting health news will assist with countering the chronic fear and worry that pervades our society around disease. I recently learned on one of my educational podcasts about the shift to the use of fear in marketing tactics for sales (including health products) within the past few years.
Twenty years ago, marketers where focused on making their sales increase by linking their product to the sex appeal of mammals. Hence, the phrase, “sex sells.” It was the major attention getter of most of those image makeovers of not so great products being sold by attractive actors and models. However, within the past years, you may have noticed “fear sells.”
In medicine, this trend has become apparent in how we are bombarded with advertisements for drugs or supplements to “fix” or “alleviate” any “condition that must be discussed with our doctor, due to them being a sign of something more serious”. This new marketing ploy is effecting doctor-patient interactions. More and more, the “consumers in this driven health care model” are demanding and requesting medications and supplements to their ailments via internet searches or advertisements and arriving to our offices in panic and out of breath.
The good news is that more people are taking control of their own health with information. I actually have had some wonderful learning experience with clients who brought in articles with sound science and have impressed me with explaining to me how adding in this specific modality would assist them. We then work together to find how it fits in their current health plan and integrate it in! (I have a lot of smarty pant clients!)
The bad news is there is so much misinformation on the internet with “reputable” sites citing studies with no scientific basis, scientific bias, or outright lies. This bad science compounded with greed is the underlying current that is creating a society living in terror of their bodies. Furthermore, it is setting the stage for the infestation of a new mental disease that is robbing our children of safety, scaring parents for their children’s safety, and making event goers nervous.
It’s not a new tactic. It has been pervasive in various cultures for years, but it’s definitely hitting the United States more recently closer to home. When people are in fear, regardless of the source, they are unable to access their rational brain and therefore respond from emotion (via the limbic region). The result is a population making fight-and-flight survival decisions with an inability to think of the consequences of their response. This chronic stress response is not re-mediating the fear, protecting us, or making us healthier.
Instead, society as a whole is getting even sicker with our bodies and our brains suffocating in their own toxic and real physical byproducts of stress chemicals.! (See my blogs on stress effects on the body).
The result is a new “abnormal normal.” This is evidenced by the release of the new diagnostic manual update released for psychiatry (with its entire controversial backlash).
According to the article, Abnormal Is the New Normal: Why will half of the U.S. population have a diagnosable mental disorder?:
Beware the DSM-5, the soon-to-be-released fifth edition of the “psychiatric bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that you’ll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.
Although fewer than 6 percent of American adults will have a severe mental illness in a given year, according to a 2005 study, many more—more than a quarter each year—will have some diagnosable mental disorder. That’s a lot of people. Almost 50 percent of Americans (46.4 percent to be exact) will have a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetimes, based on the previous edition, the DSM-IV. And the new manual will likely make it even “easier” to get a diagnosis.
In conclusion, this new disease of fear is making our society emotionally sick! It acts like a drug and shrinks regions of the brain and alters psychiatric functions. It may be argued that these fear effects from media bombardment could be triggering increased societal breakdown and violence.
In the upcoming blogs here and at saratoga.com/living-well, I will be further discussing in more detail the brain alterations that result from this fearful and traumatized society, with a specific focus on the implications on our children and our own health.
At the end of this week I will be continuing this theme on my Saratoga.com blog: Prenatal Development, Parenting Style & Early Trauma Effects on the Mental Health of Our Children: Part I.
Finally, in the last installment of blogs in this series, I will give tools and techniques in mind-body medicine to calm our bodies and brains down and allow us to make choices from a mammalian brain perspective vs. a reptilian response. They also can reverse the impact of this new fear disease.
A dream to me would be a society making heart-based and rational decisions in regards to health, relationships, and lifestyle decisions.
Can you imagine the implications this would have on our children?
What are your thoughts on this topic?
I’d like to hear from you.
Stay tuned for the next installments and be sure not to miss this important topic by subscribing to my blog.
April 29, 2013 Life’s Operating Manual with Tom Shadyac. I Can Do It Hour. hayhouseradio.com April 29, 2013.
Robin S. Rosenberg. Abnormal Is the New Normal: Why will half of the U.S. population have a diagnosable mental disorder? Slate: Medical Examiner. April 12, 2013. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/04/diagnostic_and_statistical_manual_fifth_edition_why_will_half_the_u_s_population.html
Dr. Northrup. Yikes! I’m Becoming My Mother. Flourish. hayhouseradio.com. (Streaming Radio) May 1, 2013.
Mate’, Gabor. Addiction: Childhood Trauma, Stress and the Biology of Addiction. Apr 29, 2013. Journal of Restorative Medicine.
Amen, D. Amen Clinic’s. The Science: Violence Research. Amen Clinics. 2013 copyrighted. http://www.amenclinics.com/amen-home/25-the-science/research-tables/57-violence-research
Hyman, M. Why Friendship Can Save Your Life. Drhyman.com. May 2, 2013. http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/05/03/why-friendship-can-save-your-life/#close