Thursday, May 12, 2005

Emotion and Health

Just a personal aside, my health has not been what it should be. And now that I have some time to recooperate, I think I see this more clearly. Emotional health is not something that can be ignored - it will have physical effects.

In my case, it started with the birth of my first child. My wife began her selfish turn inward and left me to keep the family running. This was not obvious at the time, but it is what happened. And when I started my junior year at college, now at a large university, things got seriously stressful. I was needed at home, and I just wasn't getting the time at school I needed to properly do my schoolwork. This mad dash to learn physics and hold my family together lasted over three years. And now I am a divorced, single father, with children, and without the indepth grasp of my feild that I should have. I poured everything I had into those two things and I was not balanced about it.

Well, after the divorce, I did the same thing, of necessity. I had kids, and they needed to be taken care of. All of this has taken a serious toll on my health.

My point in recalling all of this is not to elicit sympathy or pity, but to draw attention to the interaction of health and emotion.

I see now that my divorce did more to me than I realized, and especially all that imbalance, specifically pouring everything I had into work and family. It takes too much out of you. Some recent studies have begun to point this out. Loneliness, health and depression in older males is a good study that demonstrates that loneliness is literally not good for you. I know that I have been terribly lonely, but too busy to do anything about. I think that I need to make it a priority in order to get better. If you aren't into reading abstracts, try this - Loneliness May Hurt Your Health

Looking at my health from the standpoint of TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, my problems originate from the heart meridean. According to 5-element theory (in TCM) each acupuncture meridean is associtated with one of the 5 elements, which in turn affect specific others. And the emotion associated with the heart is joy. It is the kind of thing that, when you hear or read it, you know it is true. I know it is. Nothing gets me very excited these days, and it isn't even a lack of interests. Though, I must confess that "Revenge of the Sith" looks like a lot of fun. Would a videogame help? Those can be exciting. Maybe I will try that, though I suppose I ought to concentrate on relationships. Send all the beautiful geeks my way.

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