If You’re Stagnating, Look to a Different Discipline
The contemporary Western perspective is one of perceiving false divisions. We’ve been raised in a world that sees the mind as separate from the body, the self as separate from the collective and the human as separate from the natural. We divide up the world along these lines into disciplines and specializations, areas of influence that we imagine don’t touch each other.
Bit by bit, we’re coming to understand how wrong we’ve been. Medicine is now coming to understand the body and mind as two aspects of an interconnected system. We now know that emotional trauma can cause long-term physical illness, and that physical imbalances in the digestive system can cause serious mental health conditions. We’re unraveling the way collective psychology influences personal psychology, and seeing the limitations of personal healing without collective change.
The false separations are slowly breaking down, but if you’re living in a Western culture today, you were still raised to see the world as divided into distinct spheres of influence, spheres that interrelate far more than we know. That means, when it comes to solving problems, healing from pain or illness or finding answers to persistent questions, we’re often only looking in a fraction of the places the solution might live.
For example, take mental health. In the past few years, I’ve begun meeting more and more people who, like myself, believed they’d be stuck with mental illness symptoms for the rest of their lives until they changed their diets.
Medications may or may not have worked, therapy may or may not have helped, but our healing got stuck, stagnating at best, until we tried addressing the problem from a different sphere of influence. For me, the symptoms I’d long known as depression and hypomania were closely linked to gut inflammation, and switching to a less inflammatory diet cured my bipolar disorder. I’ve met other people who have treated depression and anxiety by eating more fat, or psychosis and mood swings with probiotics.
We all first tried addressing our mental health problems with mental health approaches, with varying degrees of success, but the real…