Guess what, our minds and bodies are connected
I just read this post on Mamamia titled, “Sarah Wilson says she knows why women get sick. And she’s wrong”. Not a sensational headline, in the least. Many people are commenting that they agree with the author, an Amy Stockwell who calls herself a scientist, yet who hasn’t heard of the growing body of research which supports Sarah Wilson’s opinion. Yes Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar, has dared to write an opinion piece and for some reason this Amy person has taken it far too literally. I don’t know what’s going on there, but as far as I know, the last time I checked, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Especially based on their personal experiences.
If you read the Mamamia article and Sarah’s piece you will see that this Amy person seems to have taken Sarah’s words and has made a number of assumptions and run indignantly away with them, even stating, “Part of me thinks that Wilson is just trolling – making outlandish statements in order to generate a response.” Well, I hate to say it, but the Mamamia piece reads like one long troll and there are a number of outlandish statements within, including the above quote. Why else would I be compelled to write this response. Reading Sarah’s piece, nowhere does she state with arrogant authority that her opinion holds true for everyone who has ever been diagnosed with a chronic disease.
The point is, there IS a growing body of research on the topic of the connection between mental and physical health.
According to this source, quoting the American Psychological Association: “Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can wear down, and if your physical health declines, it can make you feel mentally ‘down’.” And there are many other articles, from respected sources including some cited and peer reviewed on the topic as well.
Here are just a few that I Googled in the last five minutes:
The above articles are from different countries and sources but they are all basically saying the same thing, our mental health and our physical health are closely related. If one goes blah, the other is affected. If we feel anxious and upset for a long period of time, we can ‘make ourselves sick’. Conversely, if we or someone we know has a physical ailment that is ongoing and difficult, our mental state is affected.
What interests me is the reaction of both the author and some of the readers who agreed with her. Why so vehement? Why was what this Sarah person saying so confronting for them. An interesting question which I don’t have a ready answer for…