My friends at #innopsy chat on Twitter have done it again. They provided another thought provoking chat, this time about the Mind/Body Connection and how it effects depression. I first heard of The Mind/Body Connection in an introduction to philosophy class. Do we exist as a “mind” or do we exist as a “body?” This was more in terms of which one guides our decisions. Is it our physical impulses/reflexes that control us or can we control everything with our mind? In the human services, it asks how your physical health effects the mind and how the mind can effect physical health.
Sometimes not acknowledging the mind/body connection can look like “making no progress” or being “treatment resistant.” For instance, in my training there was a young man with severe ADHD that was “not responding to medication and other behavioral treatments.” The psychiatrist subsequently ordered bloodwork and this young man’s lead levels were so high he needed inpatient medical admission. A good medical assessment can be critical to both physical health and mental health treatment.
The interplay between mind and body is a critical part of my current role in social work. As a clinical case manager I work on getting a client’s “body” moving and connected with community; especially in the cases of depression, anxiety, and in rare cases, psychosis. I have the privilege of working with young clients in the community and their schools to get them moving. Some simple examples can be taking a walk in session or giving a physical task for “homework.” More complex tasks would be gradual exposure to the community, paying for a recreational activity, or a class based on a hobby. My hope is that by changing what the “body” does, I can change what their “mind” does?
What does the Mind/Body Connection mean to you as a consumer or helper?