Posts Tagged ‘Fear’
This is a guest blog by Faith Franz, who researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer. I am presenting it here in the hope of offering information and options to people who are looking to be healthier and happier.
Benefits of Homeopathy for Cancer Patients as an Alternative Medicine
Cancer patients turn to treatment to reduce their symptoms, boost their mental health, improve their quality of life and – if possible – reverse tumor growth. Homeopathic approaches and allopathic approaches both yield some or all of these benefits, but the way that they achieve them is drastically different.
Homeopathy provides benefits in a much gentler manner with fewer risk factors than traditional medicine. Traditional cancer medicine uses the most potent dose of therapy available in gross molecular quantities, while homeopathic medicine aims to use what is called “the minimal dose,” as few active ingredients as possible. Often the dose is below Avogadro’s number (the mole) and the medicine given is delivered energetically.
Homeopathy also encourages patients to use only one remedy at a time, switching treatments only if the first is not the right fit. As a result, patients typically experience do not experience what are commonly referred to as “side effects” from homeopathic treatment as they do from a traditional treatment regimen, which adds one drug to the next to the next, often to deal with the problems caused by the first drug.
Traditional medicine tries to eradicate tumors and their associated symptoms as quickly as possible. Homeopathic medicine takes the time to heal the underlying cause. Homeopaths understand that sometimes patients will experience a brief increase in symptoms before the disease is cured; this is the body’s natural way of releasing the disease.
Patients also benefit from the highly personalized nature of homeopathic medicine.
Each remedy in the repertory (the master guide to homeopathic solutions) is matched to a specific set of conditions. In traditional medicine, doctors prescribe one or two medicines to treat the same general symptom. Homeopaths choose from dozens of remedies for each symptom after evaluating the other characteristics of the patient’s case.
For example, an allopathic doctor would prescribe a patient Metoclopramide or Prochlorperazine if they become nauseated after chemotherapy. A homeopath might prescribe the patient one of the following remedies, based on the patient’s other symptoms and overall constitution:
- Cadmium Sulphate
- Kali Phoshorpicum
- Nux Vomica
- Uncaria tometosa
Because the solutions are chosen specifically to be closely tailored to the patient’s overall condition, patients will obtain highly individualized benefits from homeopathic remedies.
What Cancer-Related Conditions can Homeopathy Treat?
Even when a cancerous condition is very advanced, homeopathy can yield benefits for a number of physical cancer-related conditions. These include:
Homeopathic remedies can also relieve symptoms that are unique to a certain cancer. For example, patients with asbestos-related cancers of the respiratory tract can take antimonium tartaricum or related remedies to curb dyspnea and coughing that includes a great rattling in the chest.
Although classical homeopathy does not seek to suppress, rather to cure, in some cases, alleviation (or palliation) of symptoms is the moral mandate, for even when we are beyond cure, we seek to ease suffering.
Thus, homeopathy can also be used to help patients manage emotional complications that stem from their cancer diagnosis. Homeopathic remedies can help diffuse stress, fear and mild depression without the use of anti-anxiety medications. This mental health aspect of cancer treatment is just as important as the physical care, and often, the two overlap. When stress and other emotional symptoms are under control, patients are much less likely to experience insomnia and other anxiety-related conditions.
Some patients take homeopathic remedies with the intent of reversing tumor growth. These treatments require a homeopath’s prescription. Data varies regarding the efficiency of these remedies. Because they rarely cause any harm in the process, many patients choose to see if their body positively responds to the solution.
Judith’s note: As always, when presented with a medical condition, please consult your physician and/or a classically trained homeopath with experience in the treatment of your complaints. Please do not use homeopathic remedies over the counter without engaging in your own study or benefiting from the advise of someone with training.
[This article appeared in Huffington Post in the first week of July, 2011)
There’s a man I know who is talented, empathic, possessed of a keen intellect and frightened of everything. The fear has been built the way thunderstorms gather over mountains — imperceptibly at first, then slowly, silently but with great force. With every approaching rumble, it has shut his world down piece by piece. First it was work, then it was social activities, then it was driving and finally it was family. His universe has folded in like a sheet, corner over corner, until it has reduced his life to spending the day in front of the computer trolling YouTube. He didn’t understand how it all happened and his anguish was palpable — so was my confusion.
“You’re living other people’s lives,” I said.
“They’re giving me their lives,” he answered tersely. Clearly I had no idea what was going on in cyberspace or how such a thing could happen to someone so gifted.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
He explained that there were people who addressed their audiences daily, sharing from their own lives and “interacting” with their fans about everything from hair care to emotional and physical intimacy. Nothing was verboten. The video monologue disguised as discussion might as well have been occurring between lovers. There was no pretense of “expertise” in any particular field, just one human being talking to another (well, sort of) over high-speed cables.
“They give so much,” he added poignantly.
“Wouldn’t someone real?” I was baffled.
“But you’d have to go and find someone real. These people are just delivered to you.”
“Like Chinese food,” I thought, but didn’t say. In my mind I became lost in my own past, when I was very young and very foolish and due to various all-nighters was unable to get into a car or walk to a grocery to get food. I thought of the times that I had called for delivery and what motivated that avoidance — whether it was lethargy or fear.
I believe it was mostly lethargy, but there were a few times when it was fear. It didn’t happen often and it wasn’t with the ferocity or chronicity of this fellow’s experience, but it was enough to begin to understand the call to sequester he was hearing. It’s a formidable thing, fear, particularly when it is not rational. A rational fear (there is a bus heading for me and I must move or die) can be argued for or against. There it is — or isn’t. Either there is someone following you or there is not. An irrational fear — that which stems from within as opposed to without (like a bus or a real stalker rather than a paranoid delusion) — is a much harder thing both to face and fight.
The times I called for food to be delivered so I could continue “hiding” in my apartment were, as I recall, times I didn’t feel particularly good about myself. My fear was of being seen and judged. I fully admit that the fear was decidedly not rational, because there was no particular reason for any judgment (who knew me and who cared? It was New York!) Furthermore, I don’t believe retrospectively that I looked especially bizarre or off-putting. I felt bad about behaving badly and believed, erroneously, that someone else would see right through me. I was afraid of the judgment I was already indicting upon myself.
A man who is very dear to me is a recovering alcoholic. When I asked him if he had ever been afraid of going out of his house, he answered in no uncertain terms, “for more than two years.”
His story takes place moments before the internet became de rigueur, around the turn of the millennium. He has not had a drink in nearly a decade, but those last struggles are still painfully vivid. His liver was moving toward a meltdown, his faculties were frayed, his hitherto well-planned life a shambles. “I became afraid of everything: of collapsing in public, of being judged, of having a panic attack and being out there with no help. I was afraid of being afraid, of breathing, of being without alcohol, of needing more alcohol. It was so overpowering, I stayed home. I couldn’t do anything else.”
If he had been connected to a thing such as YouTube as a substitute for human relationship, it is entirely possible that he would have never gotten out of the house. What he believes saved him were the relationships in his life. His friends called him and he answered the call. He went out, even if sporadically. Those friends were the ones who drove him to rehab. For some reason — and I admit I still don’t know what that is — his fear did not overtake him the way it did our other fellow and he lives to talk about it with others.
I am sure there are numerous studies about the effects of the Internet on relationships, just as I am equally sure of the numerous effects and speculations that result from it. How could there not be? I know that texting has had a profound effect on people’s (particularly young people’s) ability to speak in full sentences. But this essay is not about the effect of the internet on us. Rather the opposite. It is fully about us. It is about what is in our hearts (or not in our hearts, like faith or courage or self-worth) when we sit down at a computer. It is about what we bring to the cyber-table (like a fear of being seen or judged) that makes us mortally vulnerable to a system of pseudo-intimacy that offers free delivery.
It is a human story, not an empirical one. The sad truth is that while YouTube may sometimes be fun, it is not a relationship. Nor can it ever be a relationship. It is a one, not even a two-dimensional format. It is a dead-end street. It is delivered, yes, but nothing more may be asked of the deliverer and nothing may be given back.
I wonder, now, if that isn’t precisely what keeps our first fellow sitting in front of the screen, if the fear is that someone real would require something in return? Or, worse, that he may find a swell of love in his own heart and wish to give something back only to be refused or rejected?
What is the ultimate consequence of this behavior? It is not, as some people falsely conclude, that people are hoodwinked by the internet’s false promises. It is actually worse. It is that their fear cuts them off and they are kept from ever loving. For to love one must be able to give either selflessly or in return for being loved. It is, in fact, the a priori definition of love. This is perhaps the worst and saddest sort of emotional twinkie, the kind we keep insisting should make us feel better but never, ever does.
Currently on Huffington Post …
A New American Phenomenon
I spent probably the first half of my life in one or the other state of acute fear. Due to a variety of circumstances, one of them asthma, I came to know the fear of imminent death. It was so visceral, so primordial and pre-verbal, it still defies description for me. I can fully understand why someone would do almost anything to make that feeling stop and to live his life as if death were someone else’s problem. But over the years, as I’ve gotten healthier, I’ve become less and less afraid. I don’t believe that was just because of my improved physical state. There were at least a few times that I thought death was possible if not within proximity. On looking back, it seems to me that the process actually worked in reverse. I think I became healthier because I became less afraid. In particular, I became less afraid of death. One reader, Synduatic, commented on one of my recent Huffington Post blogs on suffering. He implied that a good portion of our well-being stems from our ability to meet death. He paraphrased a few great thinkers who concluded that to avoid death was to avoid a free life: A rich philosophical tradition, to which you gave passing reference, surrounds these ideas, too. Plato said that philosophy is a meditation on and a preparation for death; Seneca said that he or she who learns how to die unlearns slavery; and Montaigne said that to philosophize is to learn how to die. I had to agree. He pointed to a deep fracture in the American psyche because there is no culture that shuns death (or suffering) the way ours does. And what we shun, we fear. And what we fear controls us.
The rest is at the link above.
Blessings to all.
It was a long time ago. I was young. I was writing for Madison Avenue, hobnobbing with celebrities, going to parties. It was as far from a meaningful life as I’ve ever been, but it was the 1980′s, Reagan was president, we were selling and everyone was buying. Life was “good.”
Then one day I got an ad order for one of the firm’s big clients. They were pushing a new diet pill that would expand in the stomach and fool the person into feeling full so they wouldn’t eat. I read the marketing stats carefully. Their targeted audience was young, female and anorexic.
I don’t know what made me suddenly so sensitive or intolerant of such an obviously necessary strategy — who else would you sell a diet product to? — but I got angry. And in a pique of rebellion I hurled my typewriter against what I felt to be a nasty injustice and sealed my fate when I submitted an ad with a picture of the little expanding pill and a headline that read: Fat Chance.
Needless to say, they never ran the ad…
To see the whole article, go to Huffington Post.
Human nature may be the same, but there are new rules of engagement.
With every major invention, every technical ratcheting forward, human history has been irrevocably altered. Some of the most pivotal alterations have been the result of the least dramatic and perhaps least glamorous discoveries, such as the toilet and interior plumbing.
Massive changes followed the introduction of those little white bowls in the average home, most notably the decrease of acute epidemic disease and the increase in the human lifespan, which in turn has had a ripple effect on everything we think and undertake…
To see the whole topic:
For the first time in Huffington Post, you can read more about the idea behind The Next Osama! This is one of the most important things I’ve ever done and I hope I can share it with all of you. It dovetails perfectly with all the things Verbal First Aid stands for, but takes a look at it from the cultural angle rather than the personal and psychological one.
The reason I’ve done this is because of what I’ve seen in my psychotherapy practice–people who are afraid, truly afraid, and look to all sorts of products to make them feel better: breast implants (so they feel younger and aren’t so afraid of losing their luster or facing their mortality), viagra (so they feel more virile and aren’t so afraid of the normal aging process), more and more insurance (so they’re supposedly protected against everything the insurance companies can make them afraid of).
I will be releasing a host of new articles on this topic–how the culture and particularly the media perpetuate needless, pervasive and viral fear and, not only what this does to us, but what we can do about it!
As they say, stay tuned.
Some people need rehabs. Some people need one-on-one psychotherapy. Some people need consequences. Dire ones.
Everyone is different when it comes to their addictions.
There was one woman who needed surgery.
She was in her 80′s when he went to see a colleague of mine for an unrelated ailment. She had been beaten and cut by her husband for years. To deal with it, she took up drinking. She took it up so well, that she forgot about the abuse but became physically ill. She finally succumbed to the alcohol and had to go in for surgery for her gall bladder.
“They told me my liver was so soft, they almost couldn’t do the surgery at all. So, I said to myself, ‘Barbara Ann [name changed], you may not be very smart, but you ain’t dumb enough to drink yourself to death neither.’ So I just quit.”
That was in 1981. She’s been sober since.
Fear, as they say, can be a great motivator.
The other day I had a personal experience of just how foolish fear can make a person. With all my training in psychotherapy, trauma, and crisis counseling, with all my years in the trenches seeing the very worst that humanity is capable of, with all the professional composure and philosophical peace I have made with the suffering and idiocy of the world, I still acted like an ass in a thunderstorm. One little peel of thunder and off went my adrenal glands, madly galloping away with my cerebral cortex, disappearing into the sunset, never to be thunk [sic] of again.
It’s all about a small insect…well, he wasn’t very small at all and that was where the first problem began. He was a six inch, armored tank of a whip scorpion, what locals in New Mexico call the Vinegaroon.
My husband and I were sitting outside in the morning with our teas, watching the slow trickles of last night’s rain slide from the roof into the canals and down the side of the house. It was a cooler morning than we’d had in weeks of 103 degree temperatures and we were relaxed in the western breeze.
I watched the rain and thought about a catchment system, following the water upwards to the canal when I saw him.
I nearly dropped my mug.
“SCORPION!” I thought.
I pointed. That was the only word that came out of my mouth for about 3 seconds, which is a long time when you’re trying to speak.
My husband looked where I was pointing, saw nothing (it was still early and the sun hadn’t fully risen) and kept asking “What? What?” The more he asked, the less I could speak.
I’d seen and reluctantly dispatched scorpions before. But they were less than an inch long and pale, seeming somehow less threatening. This one was on our portale, it was about 6 inches long if you don’t count the whip at the end of his thorax, it had an exoskeleton to make a Hummer jealous, and it was MOVING.
“It’s a scorpion!” I finally eeked out.
How pathetic, I thought even as I was being pathetic. A damsel in distress over a bug. But I was already in the hooks not of the bug but of my own neurobiology. My limbic system had been turned on, the adrenal glands were on red alert, and all I could think of was that damned thing could kill our little dog and do some serious damage to our bigger one. In my fear, I forgot about everything I ever said I believed in–the sanctity of all life, the intricate balance of the ecosystem, the divinity and love of God in all His creatures. And I do feel that way, now. Then, I had all the philosophical wisdom and forethought of a swamp croc.
After we both went over to look at it, my husband, being the saner of us, asked, “Are you sure it’s a scorpion? It kinda looks like that bug we found by the garage that time and it turned out to be a big nothing, remember?”
“NO! What about the dogs?”
“Well, I don’t know…what if we put him in a bucket?”
As he went to get a shovel and a bucket, I herded the dogs inside and kept a watchful eye on what I thought was the most venomous creature I’d ever seen.
By the time Dave walked across the house, into the garage, got back out and crossed the courtyard, my fear had infected him and his limbic system had apparently kicked in. So, instead of scooping the poor fella into a bucket, he picked up a shovel and swung hard enough to crack the stucco. The bug never knew what hit him.
While knowing his death was quick and hopefully painless gave me some measure of absolution after my adrenalin crawled back to the walnut whence it came, it didn’t make me feel less stupid or remorseful when I found out that he was in fact not a scorpion at all, but a vinegaroon—a rather harmless, non-toxic night stalker that eats crickets and other unpleasant pests. So not only was he not a scorpion, not only was he not harmful to my dogs or me, he was an asset to our garden.
They say it takes 1/12,000th of a second to go to red alert but that it takes a lot longer to think a situation through.
Stupid is fast. And, as I found once again in my life, fast is also pretty stupid.
Another article excerpt from Ezinearticles.com (http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Wages-of-Fear—The-Seven-Deadly-Sins-and-American-Pathology&id=3540022)
It’s axiomatic that you get what you pay for. On observation, however, I believe that there are times we get more than we bargain for, not all of it good. In the case of current media-incitements, we get much more and we are rarely aware of it.
Viral fear, that generalized anxiety induced and spread by the media in all its forms, is evident not only in advertising but in most television programming. There’s the famous It Could Happen Tomorrow series on the Weather Channel and that important reminder Armageddon Week on the History Channel. For the thoroughly inured and brain-injured there’s also a 24-7 fear channel on cable in case someone needs to scare themselves to sleep. Of course, it’s not enough to watch horrifying dramatizations of our last days on earth. Advertisers do their duty when they alert us to the more imminent dangers to life and limb if we don’t buy their ________ (insert one or all of the following: security system, flu vaccine, dietary supplement, colon cleanser, or SUV).
There are statistics that suggest that while our diets are no good (by in large, they’re awful), they’re not the sole culprits in our poor health. While our intake of alcohol is high, that too is not the bullet that hit the artery. Same with cigarettes.
The Europeans eat and drink and smoke and suffer fewer heart attacks and less cancer. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks thanus but the Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.The Italians drink a lot of red wineand suffer fewer heart attacks than us.The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
Something else is at work, then.
I’ve been a psychotherapist for 25 years. Licensed in five states at one point. Seen hundreds, if not thousands of people. The one thing that seems to be the most prevalent and devastating to the most people is the constant fear, the unrelenting stress to perform to some impossible standard, and the agonizing inability to meet those standards and resulting inadequacy. This is just observation, not analysis.
But I did have a question or a thought on the topic. Is it possible that part of our cultural nature as adventurers and conquerers has something to do with it? When we are not scaling sheer cliffs, jumping out of planes, or conquering the west, where does that energy go?
There’s a truism in Homeopathy that a remedy exists on a polar spectrum. It can be bright red (for instance) with heat or appear to be so white it looks cold. It can be enraged or as silent and coiled as a snake. It can be delighted or deranged. Each one existing within the same remedy state.
Could the same be true for Americans? That when we’re not engaged in the extremes of conquest, we’re trapped by our televisions? That the kissing cousin of adventure–fear–grabs us as soon as we stop leaping off of cliffs. And one thing I DO know is that fear kills us faster than anything else I’ve seen.
Just a thought to consider.