The Body

When stress overwhelms us, regardless of the cause, it affects our minds and often spills over into our bodies. Many people go to the doctor for physical complaints that often have a psychological component to them. It has been estimated that between 35-75 percent of patients complain of physical problems that have a psychological factor influencing it. In medicine we would say that component is "psycho-somatic" in origin. That means, the root cause is psychological. That's why medications for physical symptoms are often of limited benefit, unless you also address the root cause along with it.

For some the presenting physical complaint may be tension headaches from work or relationship stress. Others may complain of ulcers, acid reflux, or the appearance or worsening of psoriasis. Vitiligo, a skin condition that results in loss of pigmentation, is often caused by stress as well. These can get better, or resolve, when the stressor is removed. Shortly after World War II my dutch grandfather suffered from a facial paralysis that resolved when he was reunited with his family. High blood pressure, chest pain (angina), grinding of teeth, bed-wetting all may have a psychological component to them. This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are other illnesses that are affected as well. 

When you read King David's testimony in Psalm 32:3-4, he complains of "my bones waxed old (arthritis)....my moisture is turned into the drought of summer (dry mouth, from anxiety)" as a result of his sin with Bathsheba and for having her husband killed in battle. His treatment was found in verse 5: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee (God), and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah." Stress, guilt, and shame as a result of sin affected King David's body. Repentence not only restored his relationship with God, but also his physical health. As you can see, one dimension affects the other.

It if for this reason that I carefully examine root causes of the symptoms and deal with spiritual issues affecting one's physical and mental health. They may very well be connected. I hope you will be open to these discussions, as we search for what is at the root of the problem of your symptoms and address it, along with medications. Together, you have the recipe for the best possible outcome: Excellence in your mental health.