Autoimmune disease: maybe it’s because of something I thought … or I felt … or ate?
So I was having a chat about my recent hospital stay with a friend this morning. Being the sweet chick that she often is, she had sent me a link to a Demo DiMartile meditation for “women with thyroid disease”.
Now Mr DiMartile is of the “spiritually enlightened” opinion that thyroid disease ( in my case, Hashimoto’s disease) is actually a symptom of a far greater problem. Yep. My thyroid disease isn’t actually about my body’s natural ability to differentiate between its tissues, organs and glands, vs. outside bacteria, viruses or pathogens, being disrupted. According to DiMartile, my thyroid disease is really about shame and difficulties communicating my emotional needs.
“I intuitively believe that shame is the emotional root cause of thyroid disease and that shame suppresses both the will (intent) and the voice. The thyroid gland sits on the voice box, and there is a direct relationship to emotional needs and communicating them. I started to see and hear aspects of my mother echoed in women with thyroid conditions, and I instinctively understood their struggle.”
DiMartile’s not the only “spiritually enlightened” person who flogs these ideas. One of the first I bumped into (and I bump into heaps as a therapist) was Louise Hay, of “You Can Heal Your Life” fame. Hay believes that our “thoughts/emotions create our reality” and correspond to our illnesses.
Hay believes that getting a grip on our thoughts and emotions via such tools as affirmations will “ heal our life and change our whole world for the better”.
It’s not enough to contend with the fact that people with autoimmune conditions have concrete, physical problems, nup – we also contend with the fact that our emotions and thoughts are allegedly running amok, so badly so, that we [accidentally] create our disease.
When I was in hospital, I was reading an article quoting “eminent cardiologist” Dr. Robert Eliot who thinks there’s reason to believe that autoimmune conditions are really about self hatred. Yep….
Behavioral scientists also believe that autoimmune dysfunction may be a reflection of deep-seated hostility, self-hatred, or resentment that causes elements of the immune system, acting under orders from the brain, to inadvertently attack the body. These scientists believe that self-destructive thoughts, if persistent and prolonged, can lead to physical self-destruction through powerful neurochemicals released from the brain. As the eminent cardiologist Dr. Robert Eliot said, “The brain writes prescriptions for the body.” It is becoming increasingly clearer over time that this is indeed true, so this current perspective is not an unreasonable explanation for the origin of many difficult-to-treat autoimmune illnesses.
If you have an autoimmune condition, you by immediate default inherit a side of psychologocal and emotional issues to go with them. Furthermore, it’s readily apparent that if we have such conditions, we must also be spiritually un-evolved. Am I right? Unless you are willing to buy into “pseudo spiritual” bullshit, you will be seen as spiritually resistant and un-evolved to boot.
Autoimmune disease? Believe the New Age Happy Clappy Brigade and soon you’ll be saying, we did it to ourselves. We do it to ourselves. We are lazy thinkers, emotionally immature, spiritually unevolved and guess what else? We’re sick.
I cannot express how infuriating I find all this bullshit. I find it offensive as a person who has several over lapping autoimmune illnesses. I find it offensive as an atheist – the attribution of “spiritual hocus pocus-ing” as a “cure” makes me sick.
Maybe we don’t need doctors, or a health care system … maybe we just need some kick ass affirmations and a calming circle.
But what happens if such things aren’t effective. What if we attend the calming circle, do the meditations, say the affirmations … and we’re still sick? What then? Is healing inadequecy a personal problem or a spiritual/emotional/psychological malfunction? Who do we blame? Is healing reserved for those who are willing to fly, out of the realm of logic, science, reason and …
I am not on for victim blaming, thought and emotion shaming or spiritual debilitating. I don’t believe in the “power” of affirmations, any more than I believe in the power of god and I do not … DO NOT believe my thoughts or emotions create my reality, or my disease.
How bout you keep your New Age bullshit out of my health.