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Thank you for your kind comments. I do appreciate them. And I *do* understand what Dr. Mel is saying -- I simply disagree with him completely.
You see, I think that Dr. Mel is showing us a perfect example of the following principle: The diagnoses you receive is dependent upon which type of doctor you go to in the first place.
If one goes to a psychiatrist for a headache, it's due to unresolved tension in your childhood or stressers in your life now. However, go to a neurologist with the same headache, and it's due to migraines. Go to your regular MD, and this doc tells you to take two asprin and call in the morning. Go to a chiropractor, and it's due to your spine being out of place. See what I mean? Depending upon who you see, you get a different answer for the same question about the cause of the headache!
Dr. Mel believes 80% of chronic pain is due to "emotional" causes. "In my experience, chronic pain is about 20 percent sensory, and the rest, the other 80 percent, is emotional." These are *his* words. It is *his* experience. But, I wonder if he has bothered to ask the people experiencing the pain! Because -- at least in *my* case, (and I believe in *most* cases) -- he's wrong.
However, Dr. Mel is a social worker. Consequently, he is trained to look at the *emotional* causes of whatever the person is there for. So, that is what Dr. Mel sees -- emotional causes. He sees this *emotional cause* regardless of whatever the real cause is! And it is here, in my opinion, that Dr. Mel makes his error: "Emotions drive the experience of pain."
Dr. Mel, it is pain which drives the experience of emotion. You have it backwards. Unending, severe pain brings on the emotional experience. It is not the other way around. One's back begins to hurt, and one *may* begin to get anxious, (thinking about how work will go, or how you will pay the bills with another day's pay lost, for example). But, it's not the anxiety that causes the back pain!
I thought I also saw another of his own statements in the article shows this propensity. How ever, I cannot find it now. Did you, Dr. Mel, take out a sentence on how it would be impossible to conceive of the emotions not playing a part in the pain? I was certain I saw something to that effect when I read the article before. If not, I am sorry.... However, if it was there, then it clearly showed the inability of Dr. Mel to "conceive" of any other cause except the emotional cause -- which he has been trained by his profession to see. Again, if I am wrong, and I do hope to hear from Dr. Mel here, then I do apologize...
And these are the reasons I completely disagree with Dr. Mel. I do not think that the doctor can see the forest for the trees. He is caught up in the thinking of his own profession. And, I say this with due respect -- it happens to many professionals. A healthy and honest one will seriously look at this statement as a critique, not a criticism, and see it as a means to grow professionally.
On the other hand, I do agree that functionality is and must be the goal. So, if mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, imagery, exercises, physical therapy and non-narcotic medications are *not* helping one function, I ask Dr. Mel, what then is the answer? Because in over 10 years, I've done everything *except* the narcotics, (due to my own healthy fear of them). And since I am struggling to continue to live my life, not to close it out as a dependent on disability, I ask if you have anything better to offer.
Shalom, Salam, Peace!
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