Is it your fault you got sick?

In an interview I did a few weeks ago, I was asked if I believe that diseases which manifest first on a mental level, and which remain untreated, then settle into our physical body showing up as physical symptoms.

You may hear these kinds of statements in the alternative medical world: “Because you didn’t want to deal with X, that’s why you’re suffering from Y.” Doesn’t that sound simple and easy? To me, it sounds a bit like playing god. And there was a time when I would have said the same, unfortunately.

Today, however, I recognize that following this train of thought quickly leads to guilt and shame – as if pain and other debilitating symptoms weren’t already enough. These types of statements don’t tell the whole truth, and they lack empathy and love.

Yes: dis-ease does not fall out of the sky. There is always a link back to you and the way you live, be it how and what you eat, the environment you live in, the way you interact with people, or simply genetics.

But instead of berating yourself with how you arrived here, the most important thing for recovery is how you deal with what you’ve been given. Regardless of how your dis-ease came into being, it is now up to you to choose how you proceed. Your own self-care, honesty, willingness for treatment, and advocacy will have a large impact on how you heal. It is your choice to be an active participant or a passive bystander.

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