It is widely accepted that many of humanity's best and brightest minds also suffered with debilitating mental struggles from bipolar disorder to anxiety...Vincent Van Gogh, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, Buzz Aldrin, Ludwig Von Beethoven...the list goes on. In this article, Charles Darwin's struggle with anxiety and the many failed attempts at treatment are discussed...including an attempt in 1865 by a certain Dr. John Chapman that involved having Darwin spend several hours each day encased in ice. Not surprisingly this treatment, and all of the other treatments he received, failed. The one and only thing reported to have helped, was when Darwin stopped working and walked or rode in the Scottish Highlands or North Wales he found his health would be "restored." Unfortunately for Darwin, mental health treatment and the connection between physical and emotional health was little understood and rarely addressed. Had Darwin been alive today, he undoubtedly would have received a very different kind of treatment (therapy!) and very likely would have found some relief. There is plenty of rigorous research that demonstrates that therapy, particularly a form of psychotherapy known as "cognitive-behavioral therapy" (CBT) can be highly effective in treating anxiety disorders. It's clear that many people suffer from anxiety, including some of the most famous and influential people in history. If you suffer from anxiety, you may want to bypass packing your spine with ice for several hours a day and go for a walk or, better yet...find a therapist!
Filtering by Tag: stress
When talking about stress with patients, I often use an image a supervisor of mine taught me when I was in training. My supervisor described us all as rocks and described the daily, small-but-stressful events we all experience as tiny drops of acid on the rock. One drop of acid will do nothing to the rock but, over time, the persistent drops on the same place on that rock with eventually cause it to crack. So what can you? Stress is unavoidable, right? Right. Which is why stress and, according to this article from NPR, SMALL stressors in particular need to be dealt with before they literally kill you. In keeping with the rock and acid metaphor this means, if we can't avoid the acid, then we need to move our rock around so it doesn't hit in precisely the same spot each time. I find that many people often don't know how to talk about stress and do not have any understanding of the best ways to deal with it. Obviously, therapy is a great way to get a deeper understanding of your own personal stress and coping mechanisms, but the article offers some very simple and effective solutions as well such as exercise, breathing, meditation and laying off the alcohol!