Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thought police

Not really, but I liked the headline anyway.
In his book, The Biology of Belief, cell biologist Bruce H. Lipton states that thoughts “directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology … The fact is that harnessing the power of your mind can be more effective than the drugs you have been programmed to believe you need.”

Perhaps the most common proof of Lipton’s hypothesis is the placebo effect. “The critical factor,” says Irving Kirsch, a psychologist at the University of Connecticut, “is our beliefs about what’s going to happen to us. You don’t have to rely on drugs to see profound transformation.” Current research seems to support the claim that a person’s beliefs, sensory experience, and thoughts can affect neurochemistry — and thus impact outcomes.

The question is, what's the threshold? For example, with Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, PTSD?

There has to be a point where the drugs are definitely required. Just thinking the world is sane, things will get better, or it isn't about white rabbits and mushrooms, won't help.

If one is relatively sane, whatever that means, its possible to wake up in the morning and say, "Today's gonna be great". And it probably will be better than it might have been.

In Iraq, I'm sure no one wakes up to that thought and they have to get through the day without drugs. Afghanistan has all the opium.

Addendum: Dammit! That was a fucking flippant post. I hate it when I do that.

The more important point I should have made is, if and when the US leaves Iraq and Afghanistan, there are going to be thousands of mentally disturbed people. Many of those will be children.

More than half of Iraq's health-care providers have fled. This includes pharmacists.

People can't see a doctor and couldn't get medication if they did. Who knows how many are dying from hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, dysentery, infection and other medical problems?

Afghanistan is no better off.

Via Daily Scare.

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