Why medical treatment itself is a leading cause of death – ahead of cancer and heart disease.

Why most pharmaceutical drugs do not work on most of the patients they are designed for.

Why there is hardly a single class of pharmaceutical medication that doesn’t have as a possible or even common ‘side effect’ a short- or long-term worsening of the symptoms it was prescribed for.

Why the majority of patients seen by doctors are made up by what they call ‘the worried well’ – in reality ordinary people who really wish to share psychological problems – life problems – with a professional, but wouldn’t think of going to see a psychologist.

Why ‘successful’ drug treatment or surgery for illness often precipitates mental psychosis or precedes the emergence of new symptoms just as serious as the original ones.

Why the greatest danger period for the mental and physical health patients occurs after finishing a’ successful’ course of medical treatment and being told that they are well.

Why social isolation is a greater risk factor for health and lowers life expectancy more than smoking, diet or obesity.

Why support groups for women with breast cancer patients have been found to double their life expectancy.

Why support from a spouse dramatically improves survival rates from heart transplants.

Why so many illnesses occur after or often on the exact anniversary of significant life events  – such as bereavements, the end of a relationship, the start or loss of a job, taking an exam, retirement or even just going on holiday.

Why there is an 80% correlation between stressful life events and the onset of an illness in the two years following those events.

Why the chances of simply getting a cold are increased by life difficulties or disappointments, in particular those to do with employment or relationship problems.

Why the incidence of previously widespread, common and dangerous diseases was decline long before the use of antibiotics to treat them or the use of mass vaccinations to prevent them.

Why a study has shown that only 3.5% of the decline in mortality from infectious diseases can be attributed to drug treatments.

Why chemotherapy for all types of cancer is still used even though it has been shown by countless reports and admitted by many cancer specialists to be ineffective even in increasing life expectancy, and why death rates from cancer have actually increased with the increased use of chemotherapy.

Why, despite the Nobel Prize winning ‘discovery’ that the ‘cause’ of stomach ulcers was not ‘stress’ but a specific bacterium it was then found that between one and two-third of the world population carry this  bacterium in their stomachs without developing ulcers.

Why 20-40% of children and 10% of adults carry the tuberculosis bacillus without contracting tuberculosis, and why only a minority of those exposed to the bacillus will develop TB.

Why children allergic to household dust at home showed no allergic responses when this dust was distributed in the hospital rooms.

Why Whitehall civil servants who are given orders by their superiors have twice the chance of contracting diabetes than those who give them their orders.

Why counselling for cardiac patients can prevent recurrence of heart attacks or even reverse arterial blockages, and why half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.

Why patients whose surgeons talk to them whilst under anaesthesia are at less risk of dying, and why patients whose surgeons openly discuss post-operative pain before surgery experience it less.

Why someone with sensitive skin can work for years with materials they are sensitive too, and yet only develop allergic reactions when emotional problems in their relational life flare up.

Why soldiers whose armies suffered defeat in battle were more likely to develop dysentery or typhus.

Why autopsies of thousands of young and otherwise healthy soldiers revealed atherosclerotic plaques of the sort generally associated only with older people, long-term smokers and others thought to be at risk of heart attacks and strokes from developing these plaques over time.

Why ‘placebos’ or fake surgery can be just as effective as ‘active’ drugs and real surgery.

Why  people  smoke, take illegal drugs, over- or under-eat, eat foods ‘bad’ for their health.

Why off-the-counter medications and legally prescribed drugs are a cause of greater and more widespread addiction – and often more difficult to come off – than illegal drugs.

Why people become obsessed with changing to or pursuing supposedly healthy ‘ lifestyles’ through diets or fitness regimes  – yet without ever really examining their lives as such and the health of their relationships.

Why both medical journals and the press are full of reports of new medical research and newly discovered dangers or aids to health – without ever asking what it means to be ‘healthy’.

Why doctors will always ask patients ‘how long’ they have had a particular symptom but almost never ask WHEN it started, let alone what was going in the patient’s life at the time – or in the days, weeks, months or years before the symptoms or symptoms appeared.

Why patients given home treatment after a heart attack have a lower mortality rate than those given impersonal, hi-tech hospital care.

Acknowledgements:

Why People Get Ill? by Darian Leader and Michael Cornfield, Hamish Hamilton 2007




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