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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larryB&W@300This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is today’s question:

QUESTION: You showed several slides of people whose wellbeing improved when they found an activity that added meaning and purpose to their lives. How does that work?

ANSWER: In the book Cancer as a Turning Point Dr. Lawrence LeShan describes forty years of case studies involving advanced metastatic cancer patients who all beat the odds once they found something that made them excited to get up in the morning, which helped them to feel good about themselves. They all lived longer than predicted and an unexpectedly high number went into long-term remission. There are countless reports of people near death who were determined to live long enough to see their child graduate or get married. Somehow, they managed to stay alive long enough for that joyous event and then died right afterward. By finding something to enthusiastically look forward to every day of our lives, we have a greater reason to live, which serves as a boost to the immune system and physiological functioning in general.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column.

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