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Thus far,  Dr. Mate’s novel has been an extremely enlightening and thought-provoking experience; encouraging me to reflect and critically analyze both the structure of our current healthcare system and the reductionist approach commonly employed to treat medical needs. As Dr. Mate explains, medical practice reflects a narrow biological mindset largely ignoring the crucial relationship between one’s mind and body while focusing on immediate physical symptoms as they present themselves, neglecting the potential impact of a patient’s past experiences or current psychological state. Furthermore, I believe this disease treatment model has inadvertently isolated medical conditions from the whole person. Often, conventional biomedical strategies are aimed at treating current symptoms, but fail to promote overall health well-being; thus ignoring the interactive and complex nature of each unique human being. In Chapter 1, Dr. Mante suggests that the more specialized doctors become, the less they tend to understand the multifactorial and diverse etiological origins of presented diseases. Personally, my own experiences when consulting with specialists for a suspected neurological problem can relate to this aspect of the conventional medical model. After numerous appointments with various specialists and no definitive diagnosis, a simple blood test identified that I was deficient in vitamin B12. As soon as I started to take supplements regularly, my symptoms significantly subsided, further highlighting the need of physicians to take into account the myriad of potential factors contributing to adverse health. One common theme encountered in the first four chapters of the novel involved the idea of repressed adverse childhood experiences contributing to excessive chronic stress and thus the onset of disease. In the case of Mary, Dr. Mate suggests a relationship between her repressed childhood abuse and abandonment trauma as a catalyst for impaired physiological defences. One study online  identified that childhood traumatic stress increased the likelihood of hospitalization with a diagnosed autoimmune disease in adulthood. This correlation between has allowed to analyze the potential impact of high stress levels on autoimmune disease development on individuals I personally know, opening my eyes to the potential multitude of physiological and psychological factors triggering disease.

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