What Modern Day Healthcare Continues To Ignore About Addiction & Illness: It’s More Than Physical

Life is an ongoing process of evolution, of growth. As we are transforming both technologically and individually, there are still many materialistic worldview-systems — accompanied by rigid dogmas — that are refusing to evolve. There are some excellent examples of this in the current healthcare paradigm as described below.

Healthcare is often treating the symptoms, not the causes.

In Dr. Epstein’s book The 12 Stages of Healing, he discusses the disparity between healing and curing. He says that curing involves the attempt to eliminate the symptoms, while healing is focused on the root problem.

Healing takes part in understanding what feedback the symptoms are giving us, and on integrating, not separating, the symptoms back into the whole. It is a process of awareness and transformation, not avoidance and rejection.

When you take a closer look at instances of depression and anxiety, they often fall under the healthcare approach of “curing.” Symptoms, often referred to as chemical imbalances, are often managed with SSRIs, or various other forms of medication meant to impact the brain’s biochemical balances.

Depression and anxiety are often referred to as “biochemical diseases,” and addiction is classified as a disease as well. But when you challenge that perspective, you will notice that we aren’t born with these “diseases.” We aren’t born with a chemical imbalance, and if we can get ourselves “into” a chemical imbalance, we can also get ourselves out of it.

There are many different beliefs about how this happens, that include lifestyle, genetic pre-disposition, and environmental factors. But scientist Greg Bradon offers another, more notable contribution to these theories, suggesting that for “every thought we have that produces an emotion, there are over 3500 neurochemical responses in the brain.”

If we have negatively-oriented thoughts, we most often produce neurochemicals like cortisol (the stress biochemical), substance P. (the pain biochemical), and adrenaline (the fight or flight response chemical). When we have positively-oriented thoughts, we produce more serotonin (the well-being bio-chemical) or dopamine (the pleasure neurochemical).

From that perspective, the thoughts and emotions we have are essentially dictating the neurochemical balances of our brain. If you can change your thoughts and perceptions, both your emotional and primary neurochemical responses will accompany that transformation. Can you see how a long-term commitment to taking pills is limiting the healing process? By only treating the symptoms, we enable the root problem to stay alive.

Illness Doesn’t Just Have Physical Roots: Lots of Illness is Catalyzed by Emotional Trauma

Healthcare is often so caught up in the “curing” mentality that it refuses to see the multiple factors that create illness to begin with. The onset of illness is not just physical. It is a combination of physical and emotional dysfunction that catalyzes the inception of disease. Dr. Gabor Mate refers to this as the biopsychosocial approach to mental health treatment.

At the root level, the thoughts, programs, and beliefs in our mind are largely responsible for the repetitive emotional responses causing depression, anxiety, and addiction. I would even argue that the basis of our emotional state directly affects our lifestyle choices (exercise, eating habits, drugs or alcohol choices, etc.).

This argument is supported by recent findings in neuroscience determining that “emotions play a crucial role in decision-making and lifestyle. In fact, even with what we believe are very logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.” These findings were concluded after neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s research was replicated in multiple labs worldwide.

Renowned doctor and addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Mate supports this argument during his interview on the G and Coletti show, saying, “The mind and body are extremely interconnected. Healthcare makes a mistake by only addressing the physical symptoms and apparent causes.”

We All Experience Trauma

Dr. Mate also explains during the G and Coletti podcast that we all experience trauma. The act of being socialized is traumatic because it takes us away from the unconditional love that exists within all of us.

When we come into this world, we are free of judgement and we are unconditionally loving. But as we are punished or rewarded for certain behaviors during socialization, we are taught, through emotional inference, that love is conditional: it is dependent on how “good” or “bad” we are.

Dr. Mate says that “we must know what’s inside of us, and that’s a lot of emotional pain. It is blocking us from experiencing the unconditional love that is there.” It is there beneath all of the thoughts, beliefs, and judgements we have been conditioned to believe about ourselves and others. And it is acting as a dysfunctional perceptual-filter between us and the loving, connected reality of the universe. Yet with the right approach, this is changeable.

The System Doesn’t Want to Fund Research Unless It’s Profitable

There are hundreds of cases of people transforming illness and addiction through Ayahuasca, a plant-mixture found in the Amazon that is widely respected for its healing properties and is anything but a recreational “drug.”

Dr. Mate discusses having seen many of these cases firsthand. These remarkable occurrences include healing addiction, a variety of mental illnesses, and even physical illnesses as severe as scleroderma. To learn more about this, you can listen to the podcast here.

Unfortunately, there is almost no funding to study this modern-day miracle herb. As a general rule, there isn’t much funding for anything considered to be an “outlier” in Western science. In statistical analysis, something called omitted-variable bias actually discounts outliers altogether. There is a general tendency towards ignoring the miraculous and studying the ordinary.

If the Westernized materialist worldview is in the habit of negating outliers, how does this limit us when attempting to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues?

On a side-note, America’s healthcare system is a multi-trillion dollar industry. Two major organizations that play a role in determining what information for diagnosis and treatment go into medical textbooks and other widely-used texts such as the DSM-5 are the NEA (National Education Association) and AMA (American Medical Association).

These organizations are largely funded by the Rockafellers, Rothschilds, and Morgans, who are also reaping the rewards from their involvement in the pharmaceutical industry. This information is well cited and explained in the documentary Thrive, produced by Foster Gamble, but you can read between the lines on that one.

How Do We Create Change?

There are many ways to create change, but the first is to be completely accountable for our own lives. When we remove the victim mentality from our lives, and refuse to play the blame game, we empower ourselves. After all, any person we blame we are unconsciously declaring ourselves powerless to.

This first means taking care of our minds. It means being aware of the thoughts that are running through our brain all day long. It means shifting off auto-pilot and questioning the thoughts that are producing negative emotions, and working with those. You’ll be surprised at how often you attach yourself to thought processes or patterns that are actually creating your own suffering.

When we can shed the light of consciousness on the thought patterns, perceptions, and judgements that are self-destructive, we take a step in the right direction.

It means also understanding our needs and values. How can we ever get our needs met and be fulfilled in life if we don’t even know what they are?

This is a great place to start, and it creates the opportunity for a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Regardless, it is time to take accountability for our lives and choose not to settle with only what the system is telling us.

As someone who struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety for a third of my life, and overcame it without the healthcare system’s assistance (after many initial failed attempts), I can truly say there are other alternatives.

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