I meet a lot of other authors online and occassionally come across someone in a different field who has something worthwhile for those of us dealing with bipolar. Rita Hancock MD, author of Radical Well-Being–A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness and Addiction, is one of those authors. As a doctor she has found that often physical pain and compulsive behavior is magnified by spiritual or emotional pain.
Her book offers both insight and solutions. My review is in the next post.
Radical Well-being—A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness, and Addictions is about how emotional and spiritual stressors can aggravate physical pain problems and illnesses (such as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, neck and back pain, irritable bowels, allergies, rashes, etc.) and even cause us to fall into compulsive behaviors like overeating, consuming drugs and alcohol, etc.
In my book, I tell lots and lots of stories about patients who have broken free from these problems by addressing things like
- unforgiveness toward people who hurt them;
- lies that they internalized about themselves when they were children; and
- areas of sin that they were refusing to acknowledge.
(2) What motivated you to write Radical Well-being?
After only a short time in practice, I noticed that some patients had physical pain in spite of negative x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests. Sometimes, those people had alignment issues or muscle spasms that caused pain. Obviously, if I found potential physical causes, I treated them. But, sometimes, even after I treated those people, they still hurt!
Eventually, as I matured in my faith and as I matured as a physician, I got gutsier and started asking patients about past emotional traumas (and even spiritual issues) in those situations. It turned out that getting my patients to talk about the “issues” of their lives made a huge difference in their stress levels and in their physical health. I figured if my patients benefitted and found pain relief and relief of stress-induced illness that way maybe others needed to hear about this, too.
(3) Did you write about yourself in any of those patient stories?
You bet! Little pieces of my own story are woven into a few of the patient scenarios I talk about in my book. I have personally benefitted from thinking this way, too! That’s why I know how good it feels to break free from the lies that we internalize about ourselves while growing up.
(4) How can this information help people with bipolar disorder or their family members?
I believe EVERYONE can benefit from uncovering the lies that we believe about ourselves, forgiving those who hurt us, and coming clean with God in regard to our sins. Specifically, in terms of BPD, I believe there could be a fair amount of guilt, anger, bitterness, and resentment among the family members and sufferers of this condition.
Many of my patients are bipolar, so I’ve had a reasonable glimpse into the stresses associated with this condition—not just those experienced by the patients, but those experienced by their families, too.
(5) What parting words would you like to leave my readers with?
No matter if you’re manic, depressed, holding steady in-between, or if you’re a family member or friend of a person with BPD, God loves you very much and wants you to be freed from emotional and spiritual stressors that might be adding to your situation. My prayer is that you and everyone else you know can find this kind of uplifting relief by reading my book, Radical Well-being.
Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk about my book, Bonnie!