What Are Health Problems? Perhaps More Conditions Than We Realize

Usually, we think that health problems are only things that doctors recognize in their diagnostic flowcharts.

However, I’d offer the following definition for health problem (as in, something that is likely caused by or indicates an imbalance or problem in the body):

1) Anything in or about a person’s body that gives them problems (e.g. discomfort, trouble doing something normally) that is not from an obvious non-health cause

(That is, if it’s a problem for the person, it’s a problem, even if it doesn’t count as a health problem in doctors’ eyes),

2) Anything about a person’s body functioning that is obviously different from how most normal people’s bodies function, with no obvious non-health explanation

(For example, sneezing many times at once, being sensitive to noise, being far more thirsty than other people, needing far less or far more sleep than other people),

3) Anything about someone that doesn’t fit with the rest of their personality.

(For instance, a kind and timid person with an occasional anger problem, or a laid-back person who suffers from anxiety at night–issues that are not part of a believable whole-person personality syndrome), or

4) Sudden onset personality changes not explicable through normal avenues of personality change

(For example, a responsible person suddenly starts forgetting to do things, or a non-confrontational person starts arguing a lot).

Why I think these are health problems:

1) First category. If something bothers someone and isn’t obviously unfixable, it’s worth at least attempting to fix it, and thus it should be considered a “problem.” Natural medicine offers a wealth of additional strategies for fixing things that bother people which conventional medicine does not have. So even if the problem is “unfixable/live with it” according to conventional medicine standards, there might be some other healing tradition that does see it as a problem and knows what to do for it.

2) If something is different about someone’s body without an obvious explanation, it could mean that they have an imbalance or problem. Although conventional medicine would dismiss a lot of these symptoms as nothing, other medical traditions (such as Chinese medicine or Ayurveda) might see them as symptoms of an underlying imbalance. Even if the symptoms themselves aren’t serious, the underlying problem could cause serious problems in the future.

Even something as common and seemingly innocuous as “cold hands and feet” doesn’t just mean “bad circulation,” — it can indicate an autoimmune condition (Raynaud’s syndrome), hypothyroidism, high adrenaline, or a number of problems.

3) If a personality trait doesn’t fit with other traits, then it might come from a bodily condition, rather than from whatever factors shaped the rest of the person’s personality.

A personal example was my former occasional rage. I am a pretty shy and non-confrontational person. However, starting in spring 2007, I occasionally became very angry all of a sudden and, without planning to, would shriek or hit myself or my boyfriend. I was very ashamed and thought I had an anger problem or even was a domestic violence offender.

However, when I came down with Lyme disease, I started learning about Bartonella, which is another common tick-borne infection (besides the normal cat-scratch disease), of which a signature symptom is uncontrollable rage and negative personality changes (see Dr. James Schaller’s articles on Bartonella). I realized that I also had many other Bartonella symptoms, such as tender soles of the feet upon waking, which I had experienced ever since the rage symptoms started. Also, during the Lyme disease treatment, the Bartonella rage symptoms became so severe that it was obvious that they were non-organic, since there’s no way I could have chosen to be like that for normal personality reasons. I did a blood test and came back strongly positive for Bartonella henselae.

I started taking azithromycin, minocycline, and then Rifampin instead of minocycline for the Bartonella, and since then I have had absolutely no rage problems of the sort I used to have, except for occasional relapses on days when I missed one or both of the antibiotics, which suggests to me that the symptom is Bartonella-caused, since it can be caused, taken away, and brought back simply by altering my Bartonella infection levels.

This experience has shown me what intense behavioral symptoms can be caused by a mere infection. If I had not done the research to find out what was going on, I think I might be on psychiatric medication or even hospitalized. I wonder how many people with Bartonella do not realize that it is an infection and instead are treated as though they are mental illness sufferers or even violent offenders.

4) Given how personality is usually hard to change, even with effort, sudden changes in personality should be an indication that something might have changed in the person’s body. Negative changes might indicate a bodily problem.

I think we totally misuse personality and behavior symptoms. Instead of using them as an early-warning system for the body (since the brain is one of the more sensitive organs), we consider them to be NON-HEALTH problems.

Indeed, if someone has a physical problem with a mental or behavioral component, he or she is at risk for being labeled with a purely mental problem and having the physical problem ignored… perhaps accounting for the low cure rate of many so-called mental illnesses.

A Domestic Violence Divorce – How Abusers Use the System to Invalidate Domestic Violence Survivors

Victims of domestic abuse reach out to the system for help in stopping the abuse perpetrated upon them. This can involve both healthcare and law enforcement. Yet, what actually happens, more often than most people know, is that these so-called “helpers” can be used to perpetuate domestic violence “legally” during divorce.

In healthcare, it’s the psychologists and psychiatrists. These healthcare providers are frequently manipulated by abusers to aid them in establishing false claims about the domestic abuse survivors that they batter and control.

Psychiatric Diagnosis as Batterer’s Club in Domestic Violence Divorce

Almost daily, I am sought out by a domestic violence survivor seeking help from being falsely accused of being mentally ill. In many of the cases, the mental healthcare diagnostics appear to be grossly improper.

But that doesn’t prevent a court from making determinations about the accused. In many of these cases, the battered mothers (and abused fathers) are faced with losing custody of and, in some cases, even the essential moments of simple human contact with their children.

Once judicial decisions are made, remedies can be added on and on…with no regard for the accuracy of the original foundation underlying the initial judicial decision. We have seen domestic violence victims prevented from having unsupervised or any access to their abused children because of a clinical psychiatric diagnosis.

The sad thing here is that those directly negatively impacted, like the protective parent and children, are unaware of this ploy during its set-up and ultimate execution. Often they go along with certain procedures trusting in their sanity and hoping for justice to prevail. Then, the day comes when they awaken to the fact that they have been re-victimized by their abuser’s manipulation of the psychologists and psychiatrists.

Psychiatric Re-victimization To What End

Now you’d think that if the batterer is getting a divorce and seeking to move on with their lives, then the victim’s declared mental health status would be of no interest to him/her. Wrong…completely wrong!

By establishing for “the record” that the domestic violence survivor is “crazy,” the abuser leverages their ability to regain and maintain control over the family…and most importantly, control over themselves, or at least control over their public image. Many people will tell you that the legal psychiatrics of a case are nothing more than to save face for the batterer.

The abuser seeks to walk away looking good and certainly not being an abuser. To this end, they must make the victim to be “bad”…”wrong”…”crazy.” Essentially, the abuser enlists (directly or indirectly) the healthcare provider to discredit the victim in order to invalidate who she/he is and what she/he stands for with respect to being a domestic abuse survivor.

If you are a domestic violence survivor and have been threatened with losing custody of your children and the credibility of you mental health status, seek to understand how batterers manipulate healthcare providers to establish false claims. And as you learn about the reality of what’s before you, find a credible professional to help you prevent this life-changing destructive legal psychiatric ploy. The sooner you become proactive in preventing the establishment of false claims, the easier you can prevent them from defining your life and limiting your liberties.