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stress will kill you?

we've all heard that expression, right?
well its true.
stress will kill you
and scientific evidence exists
to prove this claim
and to question the science
behind the following claim

"smoking causes cancer."

in his book when the body says no, (click title for link to amazon.com) gabor mate (pronounced mat-eh) walks readers through the biochemistry behind the mind-body connection. fascinating stuff? anyone with a uterus will tell you that stress can toss the body's delicate hormonal balance off kilter. so, then ... take this one step further. a guy - british thoracic surgeon who calls himself Kissen - did take this further. he noticed, via his clinical practice, an intimate connection between emotionally repressive personality patterns and incidence of lung cancer. and then, a longitudinal study, conducted on a stable population in europe over a 10 year period, confirmed Kissen's insights.

essentially, it all boils down to this:
smoking no more causes cancer than being thrown into deep water causes drowning ... a combination of factors is necessary to cause drowning. fatal as immersion in deep water can be to the unprotected non-swimmer, for someone who swims well or is equipped with a life jacket, it poses little risk. it is the same with lung cancer. (p. 85)

so. what am i saying?
  1. repression of emotion, particularly anger, is the single greatest risk factor for death, esp, but not only, d/t cancer (emotional repression potentiates the effects of smoke and other carcinongens within the body)
  2. psychological influences create physiological changes in the body which contribute to the onset of malignant disease (science and clinical practice tell us that, at every level, a mind-body connection exisits)
  3. individual internal perceptions bear as much influence as external threats in development of disease , esp. cancer, in our bodies

lets expand no. 2, shall we?
  1. thru the HYPOTHALAMUS-PITUITARY-ADRENAL nexus (a pathway of glands in our bodies that govern metobolism and general bodily function), both physical and psychological stress influence our physiology -- ie stress activates the HPA nexus, sending our delicate hormonal balance out of its equilibrium
  2. unmet emotional needs -- ie uncertanty, lack of control, lack of information -- strongly activate the HPA nexus
  3. consummatory behaviour (behaviour which removes the danger or relieves the tension cause by it), and restoring sense of control, each result in immediate supression of HPA activity
  4. emotional stress impairs the body's built-in DNA and cellular repair mechanisms (i)habitual emotional repression leaves a person in a state of chronic stress, (ii)creating an unnatural biochemical environment in the body; (iii)the perpetually high levels of steroid hormones (we secrete hormones when we are stressed out) can interfere with normal programmed cell death
  5. depression ("a mental state in which repression of anger dominates emotional functioning") potentiates the inhibitory effect of smoke on the natural killer cells (ie it compromises our body's ability to fight off disease)
  6. disease is not a simple result of some external attack, but develops in hosts in whom the internal environment has become disordered
  7. the human endocrime system is an important mediator between the psyche and the tumor (a) a person's emotional personality pattern plays a role in either facilitating tumor promotion or dampening or accentuating the impact of environmental stressors (b) tumors are hormonally dependent, arising in organs that interact hormonally
  8. social subordination activates the HPA
  9. the stresses that create the problems with self nurture are also the ones that predispose to disease
  10. for most cancers there is no identifed carcinogen. it is the internal environment that plays the major role in deciding whether the malignancy will flourish or be eliminated.
  11. key to fighting cancer is not just prevention and/or control of its spread ... but understanding under what conditions existing dormant tumor deposits become malignant
  12. inability to express emotion, particularly anger, has shown up as the most consistently idenified risk factor for cancer in various studies
link to the book's website here, in case you're interested. simply put, this message in all this? that we can influence our health status simply by means of our response to life. our ability to process what we encounter. to stick to our convictions. to set our own limits. constructively express our own emotions. our friend ben writes: "life is change. life is energy. life is your chance to create yourself and your world as you wish them to be." i think that's what gabor mate means, too, thru his writings and work. we CAN make a difference. it sounds almost too simple, doesn't it?

I have always felt that most physical problems have a psychological root. And it does seem to explain why some people can develop cancer without ever having smoked and others can chain smoke for fifty years and not.

However, drawing all of those chemicals into one's lungs cannot be helpful. And what of COPD and emphasema (?sp)

I can't understand how people can discount the connection between the mind and body as if they were two seperate entities.

Velvey, youse on ter sompin' wif this....another interstin' book (oldish) is Mind the Healer, Mind the Slayer. It makes the same point, honey--that cancer is an anger repressed induced disease, more often than not--some exceptions, such a miners with black lung after years of breating coal. This boook looks at three other problems and traces the emotional component--Migraines, IBS, and heart disease.

Then fer some ancedotal corroboration, see Theodore Dalrymple, MD, who worte LIfe At the Bottom, about his work wif the poorest of Lonndon/Liverpool's poor. He finds stress is cause of much of they ailments...but he notes to that some folks is bent on behaviors that bring stress. (Quitin' jobs when ya know the rent is due, not dinishing homework and fear of grades--taht sorta thing) But bottom line, stress is deadly, has chemical reactions in body that cause anomalies.

/bark bark bark

grrrrrrrrrrrrrl this is is hard to read over the pictures!
repress anger? nope. but the key is to blow off steam in a way that doesnt repel others! and when all else fails theres always sedatives.


which is why i DID mention constructive expression of emotion.

i've quit tinkering with this template now -- this is the background i've decided to stick with. i think its not that obscuring. i like it. i just can't do the plain template thing anymore.

Oh, Wow ... I was going to write: "Brillant, brillant, brillant!" because I was so thrilled to read this. And then I saw my name and thought: "Oh. Can't do it now. Too self-congratulatory"

Ha! Can, too.

BRILLANT post, Velvet.

And you know what I've been turning around in my head, lately? Those big stickers on cigarette packs - "Smoking kills" and all that ... well, I believe that they actually CAUSE some illness among smokers because they keep telling you that you should feel guilty and that you are doing something that is bad.

These messages - if you take 'em in - load you up with "bad vibrations". THey ceate an additional stress-factor. Same thing for non-smokers exposed to smoke who always read that stuff.

And that - combined with what you posted here - leads to: The law that made these notes mandatory might assist in killing people instead of helping them to heal.

hey ben ... thought you'd like this post ... and interesting take on the anti smoking propaganda.

to all y'all out there re: template ... apparently i lied a couple days ago when i said i was done tinkering ... i think ... i hope this one is easier on the eyes ...

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its all about ME

  • i'm roxanne, and this is velvet, the voice inside my head. and this -- this is her blog.
  • i'm that wild, passionate and unruly girl your mum warned you about

    i'm a maelstrom, a whirling dervish, a minx. i run from "same-ness" - i find it oppressive.

    change is good. change is necessary. life is change.

    if change scares you, if change intimidates you, if change makes you uncomfortable, then you're a BORE!

    this blog changes to reflect its continually evolving creator - moi.

    so ... adapt!

    you never know what you'll find when you get to velvet's place. that's the adventure of it all.

    this place continues to take shape, as velvet finds her voice in all this darkness.

    velvet rants, rages, throws the occasional hissy fit, launches the odd venomous tirade, and intellectually contemplates all the stuff of life, love, and soul

    its depressing, and enraging because the world burns and crumbles before our eyes. yet we sleep.

    we sleep. apathy, greed, power sit atop our eyelids like lead weights

    so, welcome to my world.

    i aim to pry your eyes open, to pry your mind open, to get you thinking outside the box, to shock you even.

    i ask the questions most choose to ignore. i think the thoughts most consider unthinkable. i'm alive. i'm awake. are you?

    hey -- WAKE UP!

  • fury wrapped in a daffodil, confused, undecided, wild child, indigo child, impatient, insomniac, rebellious, outspoken, artistic, restless, bored with routine, i love change, afraid of commitment, i work to live - not live to work, claustrophobic, perfectionist, odd and maybe downright wierd, anxious and maybe a l'il (ok, a lot) neurotic, dichotomous, a teensy bit vitrolic, prone to nastiness, a maverick and a cynic, highly intuitive, sensual, erotic, intense, spiritual -- NOT religious, a bitch, a wordsmith, poet, storyteller, addict, mother, caregiver, dog lover, voracious reader, Mac person, Coke drinker, cannibis appreciator, clean freak, prone to hissy fits, attitude - i got one, fav. colour: red, perfume: estee lauder pleasures exotic, voluptuous, afraid of falling asleep, afraid of the dark, hate being touched, still get flashbacks - PTSD, nite hawk, into fetishes, got a sadomasochistic streak in me
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my GRACE blog - giving thanx

methuselah lives here

    i have several poetry blogs on the 'net. essentially these contain the same stuff, just presented in differing formats. this methuselah just likes digging around in more than one corpse at a time!

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    scribbles & scratches



      afghan hound

      yes to madness





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    velvet poetry

      bell jar dreams

      you held me in your arms,
      my trembling alabaster fruit
      and savagely,
      you trampled me, underfoot
      as master of my shattered freedom
      you - the twisted and beautiful lord
      who sealed me in a windowless bell jar
      with anguish and solitude,
      as my only companions

      captor! my demented master!
      my withered soul screams for you
      it howls for the soothing barbs,
      hidden, in your voice
      and your frail, orgasmic vulnerability
      my withered soul screams your name,
      raging delicately,
      for the gaping hollows of my existence,
      which melted into yours:
      dessicated dreams,
      vanquished innocence

      this sick hunger in my heart for you -
      will it ever ebb?

      copyright ROXI G 2006

      your grace grotesquely crumbles

      your grace crumbled
      into grotesque flakes
      as your fingertips slashed
      my tender silken face
      with rage and vengence,
      that drench my frail child-spirit

      steeped in self-loathing,
      you infected me -
      my gauzy soul
      on your poisoned barbs
      of hatred and lusty greed

      once, i loved you -
      worshipped you, adored you
      and darkness
      eviscerated my heart
      as i watched this adoration stream past
      your inert, stoney heart

      my trembling eyes splinter
      into a thousand tears
      when i look upon your face -
      my reflection - in the looking glass
      you, who deserted my child-trust -
      remain, achingly, ever present

      this dark riverbed of adoration
      that flowed in my viscera for you
      has dried up; my heart --
      which once glistened sublimely inside yours,
      now lies in eternal anguish:
      dessicated, petrified, searingly denuded

      your grace crumbles
      into grotesque flakes
      of grief, rage and greed,
      soaked in the brine of remorse
      you beg, like i did, for a morsel of mercy
      but -- i will STARVE you of forgiveness

      copyright ROXI G 2006


        "there's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge it all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out on the other side. the world you find there will never be the same as the world you left." (johnny cash)

        "i wore black because i liked it. i still do, and wearing it still means something to me. its still my symbol of rebellion - against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of god, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas." (johnny cash)

      poetry masters

        if only you would touch my heart
        if only you were to put your mouth
        to my heart
        if only you were to put your tongue
        like a red arrow
        there where my dusty heart is beating,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, weeping,
        it would make a dark noise,
        like the drowsy sound of train wheels
        like the indecision of waters,
        like autumn in full leaf
        like blood,
        with a noise of damp flames
        burning the sky,
        with a sound like dreams
        or branches or the rain,
        or foghorns in some dismal port,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, likea white ghost,
        in the spume of the wave,
        in the middle of the wind
        like a ghost unleashed,
        at the seashore, weeping.

        ... Pablo Neruda, from 'Bararole'

        By a route obscure and lonely,
        Haunted by ill angels only,
        Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
        On a black thrones reigns upright,
        i have reached these lands but newly
        From an ultimate dim Thule -
        From a wild wierd clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE - out of TIME.

        ... Edgar Allan Poe, from 'Dream-Land'

      anais nin

        "and the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

        “i do not like to be just one anais, whole, contained. as soon as someone defines me. i do as june does; i seek escape from the confinements of definition.”

        “i speak of relief, perhaps when i write; but it is also an engraving of pain, a tatooing of myself.”

        “we are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

        “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. this is a kind of death.”