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Author Topic: The power of your mind  (Read 2966 times)

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Offline canadianguy

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The power of your mind
« on: April 24, 2009, 08:23:19 AM »
First off i tested HIV+ in May 1996.  I am still not on any meds, my health is great and I have my bloodwork done every 3 months.  I can remember the very day I tested POZ and how I said to myself that I would not let this kill me. I've always been open about both my HIV+ status and my homosexuality. I'm very lucky that I live in a country where I can do so without significant risk to myself.

A couple years ago I saw something like the article linked.
http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/full/69/1/74

I'm not going to state that a person can will themselves better, think away a virus or the complications that it can bring, but I will say that our Brains are powerful tools that can help us as we live with HIV.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 04:50:23 PM »
Canadian, I agree that the brain is potentially a powerful tool. Using it along with a healthy emotional state are both important parts of staying well in general. It certainly can only be helpful to live where you are not stressed about your sexuality and  your HIV+ status, because stress unquestionably has a very adverse effect on health and the immune system.

Good for you and good for Canada! Here in the US we have a ways to go in dealing with both sexuality and HIV in an adult, healthy,  realistic and compassionate manner.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline mikeyt64

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Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 09:11:01 AM »
here in australia sport, beer and bbq's rule in a conservative country !! I also realise the power of the mind and in disclosing my sexuality and not hiding as given me inner strength and power - emotional and mental.
It has taken longer to disclose my HIV - and all my friends know and some of my work scenarios I have disclosed in confidence - really it gives me more mental power!

Im not saying its the same experience for all - keeping it hidden by one or by thousands is like keeping secrets - they will keep you sick! :)
be creative in life today

Offline mecch

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Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 03:58:43 PM »
I'm not going to state that a person can will themselves better, think away a virus or the complications that it can bring, but I will say that our Brains are powerful tools that can help us as we live with HIV.

I have reported this post to the moderator. You tested positive in 1996. This is not correct thread.

I think mind has a powerful influence on health. Even if you are not saying your mind saved you from HIV progression, you are sort of implying it. I do not think this is the best message to newly positive people, particularly in a forum which bases its advice on, more or less, science, research, and good medical attention about HIV.

Maybe it's just sour grapes, as I was told, newly positive, that genetically I lost the crap shoot and have very little natural defences.  DRUGS and doctors have saved my life!

Did it ever occur to you that you might genetically be a non-progressor.  Geez!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 07:26:59 AM »
Mecch,

I see absolutely NO reason to move this thread. There is nothing wrong with what Canadianguy wrote - he was trying to send a positive message to those newly diagnosed.

Saying that a positive mental attitude is a great help in dealing with this virus is NOT the same thing as blaming someone for their viral progression. I never got the impression that Canadianguy was implying that his mental attitude alone saved him from hiv progression. And yes, it has to be said; maybe your reaction to this thread is a case of "sour grapes" as you yourself speculate.

(And to be fair to you, Mecch, I can empathise with your feelings of being cheated on the progression front. It sucks.)

The connection between mental attitude and health is becoming more and more well-documented. There's even a fairly new medical discipline called "psychoneuroimmunology". I can highly recommend a book on the subject by Paul Martin entitled "The Sickening Mind: Brain, Behaviour, Immunity and Disease". (ISBN 0 00 655022 3) It's a very readable, informative and interesting book.

Herpes is a very good example of how our mental state can influence our physical health. It's well known that stress can bring on an outbreak of herpes in those infected. This isn't to say that it's the person's fault when they get an outbreak, it's simply saying that stress plays a part. Certain chemicals are released into the blood-stream when we're stressed and these chemicals can create havoc with our immune systems. On the flip-side, when we're happy, other chemicals are released into the blood-stream, and these chemicals can help our immune system work at optimal levels. But being happy all the time isn't going to make you well all the time. You can't take credit for your happy attitude keeping you well any more than your attitude can be blamed for being ill.

And Mecch, Just because you "lost the genetic crap-shoot" doesn't mean that keeping stress levels down to a low roar and doing your best to maintain a good mental attitude won't help you and your body deal with hiv. A good mental attitude is simply one item in our arsenal against hiv.

Ann


edited to add one word for clarity's sake
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 08:07:19 AM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 08:58:13 AM »
On the flip-side, when we're happy, other chemicals are released into the blood-stream, and these chemicals can help our immune system work at optimal levels. But being happy all the time isn't going to make you well all the time. You can't take credit for your happy attitude keeping you well any more than your attitude can be blamed for being ill.
edited to add one word for clarity's sake

Yep, this is the point I wanted to be sure everyone understands.
Back in the 80's and 90's, I lost friends and lovers to AIDs, some of whom did and thought and believed everything imaginable in this world, to improve their pyschoimmunity, but a bit à la Louise Hay if not Stuart Smalley. All the relaxation and meditation and happiness and love in the world could do nothing against hiv, for some. many.
Let's never forget that.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 09:39:16 AM »
Mecch, I read Louise Hay early on in my diagnosis and I thought on the surface of it, her ideas seemed ok. But, the deeper I dug, the more I realised that her particular brand of health philosophy could be far more damaging to people's emotional and physical health. She made a lot of money off people who were desperate to try anything in the early days - and as we know now, the only thing that will actually halt the progression of hiv is the antiretrovirals. That woman sure has left a bad taste in many people's mouths - and given positive thinking a bad name, as well.

I wouldn't say that "all the relaxation and meditation and happiness and love in the world" can do nothing against hiv. Sadly, it just can't do enough.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dale Parker

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Re: The power of your mind
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 10:41:57 AM »
I agree with Canadianguy.  You DO need the drugs to help keep the virus down but over all happiness, a positive attitude and laughter can go a very long way to helping you along the path that we are on.  I believe that Dear Abby (Ann Landers) was the one who wrote the book "Laughter Is The Best Medicine".  The young ones won't know Dear Abby but the most likely saw the movie Patch Adams.  If you Google "laughter and illness"  there are a ton of studies and articles that support this. 
   I know that when I was sure that I was positive and the doctor later confirmed it the hiv was not only running thru my veins but thru my brain 24 hours a day.  The more I laughed the less I though about my problems and the less stressfull I became.
   Laughter has been proven to reduce stress and have positive affects on the immune system.  Cortisol levels, which suppress the immune system, drop. The activity of killer cells, which hiv attacks, increases significantly Levels of Plasma Cytokine Gamma Interferon (don't know what that is but it a good thing), which enhance the immune system, double.
  My grandmother always (even thru other peoples illnesses and deaths) had a very positive attitude and loved to laugh. She passed away 4 months before her 100th birthday.  At 92 she broke her first hip.  The doctor asked her when was the last time she was in hospital.  It was when her last child was born. 54 years ago.  He asked what meds she was on.  "An aspirin a day to help the old ticker (heart) and some codliver oil to help keep the pipes (bowels) working." was her reply.  The doctor didn't quite believe her. 
     Three years later she fell and broke her second hip on a Wednesday. I figured I'd give her a few days to re-couperate before I called her.  On Sunday I called her 6 times before I got an answer.  She was out playing organ for the church service. Boy did I give her Sh@t.  Her reply was "Everyone else is to sick to do it". When she passed away her only meds were aspirin and codliver oil.   
    A positive, fun loving attitude along with the drugs will help build your immune system as well as your general health.  Even if it doesn't (which I don't believe)  at least it's better to be laughing than crying.


Remember:  If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.
                  Some days you are the dog and somedays, the hydrant.
Keep smiling ;D
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 10:46:20 AM by Dale Parker »
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline Dale Parker

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Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. (G.K. Chesterton)
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 12:00:52 PM »
Hey Canadianguy and others: 
Since I'm unemployed and have most of my health, housing and financial problems under control I did some research on laughter and it's effects on health.  I have far far too much time on my hands.  I found a great article on it.  Although I cannot stress strongly enough to take your meds I'm sure laughter can have an effect on your physical as well as emotional health.
Lately (more so) I have been complimented on my great attitude.  I have also been criticized for taking my situation too lightly.   I have always loved to laugh but must admit that some of my laughter in life is because I'm / was scared or terrified.  It helps relieve the stress of the situation.
It's a fairly short article but worth the read. Following is the link to the article:

http://www.personal-development.com/chuck/laughter.htm

There is one part that describes me the most which is:
Humor isn't about merely telling jokes; it's the way we view the world. We can be sincere about life without taking it so seriously. We can laugh about our mistakes and pain. Louis Kronenberger
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. (G.K. Chesterton)
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 04:41:52 PM »
  I have been complimented on my great attitude.  I have also been criticized for taking my situation too lightly.   

When I found out about the HIV I freaked out and got very nervous and scared, not a good mental outlook at all. It affected my Tcells adversely. That was eight months ago and I find that I'm becoming more and more calm and peaceful as time goes on and that my mental outlook is getting to a point that it's the best it's ever been my whole life.

The reason I quoted what Dale Parker said above is that I find that some people (either friends or acquaintances or just anyone) expect other people to somehow "react" when facing difficult news and if they don't see you freaking out or nervous or scared they think, as Dale Parker mentioned above, that you're taking your situation too lightly or that you don't care. For many years I subconsciously bought into this twisted thinking. I used to get all dramatic and upset if something "bad" happened and people commiserated and "felt sorry" etc. It was a (sick) way of communicating to others that you didn't mean to get into this mess, I mean, look at how upset I am over it, how could I have meant to do this?! God forbid I should be calm about it, lest you think I'm indifferent or worse, that I brought it upon myself on purpose.

It's a vicious circle that only now, at the age of 46 am I beginning to figure out. I'm thinking that the freak out I had when finding out I have HIV may very well be the last freak out I'll ever have. I just won't allow myself to "go there" again and if people think I'm taking things too lightly or that I somehow am indifferent and don't care, that's OK ;)

Seeing someone react to "adversity" with a bad mental outlook, showing anger, bitterness and fear is just plain sad. Seeing someone facing a big challenge gracefully and calmly and peacefully, even joyfully, is inspiring.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 04:44:39 PM by Inchlingblue »

 


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