Thursday, January 26, 2006

Anger and denial are no fun.

I am almost finished with a book that has the potential change my life as I know it.

That's a serious statement, I know. The book is called Molecules of Emotion and it's written by Candace Pert, Ph.D. If you've seen What the #$*! do we Know?, then maybe you know of her. She was in it.

I'm devouring her ideas. Every single one of them. The book is basically about how the chemicals in our body create the mindbody connection and how there is a biomolecular basis for our emotions and feelings. In other words, our feelings and our bodies are inextricable from one another.

This is all fine and good, and yeah...we've all heard or know there is a mind-body connection. But the great thing about this book is that Candace PROVES it! It's all there, the science behind it.....the proof! In the course of the book, she eventually transitions from traditional science to eastern/alternative medicine--not only because of the corporate male-centered mentality of traditional science, but because her findings support so much of what alternative medicine and ancient healing have been emphasizing for years: you can't just treat/prevent the physiological symptoms and expect to heal!

I am a terrible book-reviewer, so I'll get straight to how the book has affected me. That's really what you want to hear about anyway, right?

Throughout my entire twenties I've dealt with anxiety/depression. I've been on several different antidepressants for this, the most current being Celexa. I feel good right now--no anxiety attacks, I sleep well, life is running smoothly, therapy is going great. Is this because of the meds? Ummm, I think (thought?) so.

I know I've been up on my high horse about how antidepressants don't deserve the bad rap they get and how they really help people. I've also said on repeated occasions that I didn't mind being on it and didn't care if I had to take it for the rest of my life. Stubborn little thing, aren't I?

This book...are you ready...has convinced me otherwise! In fact, today I only took half a tablet! Yes, Candace Pert is THAT GOOD.

So it all starts with emotions, and the release of. Repressed emotions = disease. Or depression. According to the book, in order to keep our systems clear and flowing in their natural happy state, all emotions--good or bad--need to be felt and released. It is only when our systems get blocked with unexpressed biochemicals of emotion that we feel depressed.

Anger released this week on one toxic friend? That's right. Up next: toxic family member. I know we've all heard this about expressing pent-up anger before, but it makes so much more sense and is validated when you are presented with the hard science. Plus, let's be honest: getting it out feels super good!

Candy (may I call you that, darlin'?)has also reinforced the evilness of drug companies. Do you know that she and her partner came up with a non-toxic cure for AIDS and no one would buy it? Can you believe that? It's because AZT, which is a highly toxic chemotherapeutic, was already being endorsed and lobbied by Big Science.

Anyway, the book talks about how we really don't know enough about antidepressants to be completely sure of their safety and effectiveness. They've only been measured by their effects on the brain, but nowhere else in the mindbody. Pharmaceutical companies are pushing the drugs like tic tacs but aren't doing the complete research. Did you know that there is serotonin in your intestines? I didn't. Apparently people who take antidepressants are flooding their gut with serotonin, resulting in gastrointestinal disorders. Eeeek! Maybe this explains it!

Before I totally put y'all to sleep, let me bring it back to what I'm really wanting to say. I'm saying that simply treating my problems with drugs is not enough (or right). It's not even enough to treat them with solely with talk therapy. I'll treat both the physiological and the one. I'll honor the complicated system that is my body and let it do its thing.

I'll continue therapy as a way to release emotion. I'll release as I feel. I'll figure out a way to tell people how I feel without judging. I'll keep running. I'll get regular massage and other touch-therapies (ie. acupuncture). I'll deepen my yoga practice. I'll eat better and laugh longer and let go of denial.

I know, I'm hardly reinventing the wheel here. I already knew what I needed to do, I've probably said all this before. I just needed this book to get me there. It was pretty damn powerful. My AHA! series of moments that confirmed and reinforced what I've already believed to be true.

Go out and add this gem to your collection right away!

***To those of you who've expressed concern to me about my plan: Not to worry, I will proceed with caution. I am not simply going to toss my pills and run away to the nearest ashram.


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