Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)
In our last article, we talked about how nutrition and supplements can help improve overall well-being and mental health (CLICK HERE to read). After publishing the article, some people asked me why, as a social worker and talk therapist, I got interested in this area of health. The answer lies in the concept of post-traumatic growth (PTG), a fascinating phenomenon that I personally experienced after “My Stroke of Good Fortune” (CLICK HERE to read).
Here’s some background. In Chassidus, there’s a concept based on Ecclesiastes – Koheles, “Yisraron ha’or min ha choshech,” which literally means that there’s an “advantage of the light from the darkness.” King Solomon, the wise said this. How intelligent does one need to be to acknowledge that there is an obvious advantage of light over darkness? Certainly one doesn’t need to be on Shlomo HaMelech’s level. This is clearly not the correct translation. The word we are referring to in the verse is “min – from within.” Min ha choshech, then literally means, “from” the darkness itself, not just in comparison to it. Sometimes we need to go through difficulties to see things from a different level, perspective, or intensity. If we utilize the adverse experience to our advantage, we have a more intense, and rewarding growth opportunity.
So, my PTG experience that catapulted me into this new direction of work (integrative Mental Health), is really from my own empirical, life experience, and most emphatically, after “My Stroke of Good Fortune.” In other words, I have been able to learn and grow from this. My stroke was a life-altering event that made me realize the blessed preciousness of life.
Unfortunately, earlier in my life, I had medical issues that were mishandled, which ultimately led medical problems…Again, a PTG – it catalyzed my interest in integrative mental health, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle hacks, and more. One of the medical issues that I encountered was discovering that I was allergic to Polyethylene glycol (PEG), a chemical found in many products such as food, medicine, and vaccines. My father discovered this when I was a teenager and warned me to avoid taking Tylenol, which contains PEG. Later, I learned that Acetaminophen itself was also harming my liver. After an abdominal sonogram, a doctor diagnosed me with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which he said would eventually lead to liver failure and death. I was just in my 20’s at the time! The chutzpah (nerve) of a doctor playing G-d, determining my demise. After all, a person could be in an accident, or slip on a banana peel… In my mind, I said, “There’s no #$%@ way I am going to die of liver failure. These thoughts motivated me to find a doctor who could help me improve my liver function. After years of damage caused by chemicals and drugs, I have been able to lower my liver levels very successfully with the help of Milk Thistle extract (Silybum marianum) and other botanicals and supplements at the recommendation of my functional medicine doctors. With the help of my wonderful doctor, I have seen my lab levels improve over the last few years since the stroke.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about nutritional supplements and their benefits. Additionally, as you may have read (and see on my signature block), I have become a Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional – CIMHP – because of my interest and commitment to my health and that of my clients, family, and friends. This has helped my clients in immeasurable ways, especially those who want to try alternatives to chemical and petroleum-based medicines. In the next installment, I will share what kind of supplements I use for my own day-to-day well-being. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with others who may be going through similar challenges.
By joining FullScript (my favorite dispensary), you automatically receive a 5% discount. By clicking HERE and signing up, you will receive an additional 15% – bringing you a 20% discount on all products.
Lots of success in your healing journeys. We love hearing from you, please feel free to leave your comments below.