2020 sees the world becoming more and more acquainted with mental health issues being both the cause and / or the result of people not feeling well with sometimes dire consequences.
One example is the Takotsubo Syndrome where acute and extreme stress leads to heart failure. It is also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome, acute stress induced cardiomyopathy, and apical ballooning.
The heart muscle becomes suddenly weakened or ‘stunned’ and the left ventricle, one of the heart’s chambers, changes shape. This affects the heart’s ability to pump blood.
The medical fraternity is starting to accept that the root of various physical illnesses can lie in traumatic experiences in the past, sometimes as far as the womb.
Indeed when speaking with psychotherapist experts in the field, one may safely assume that these traumatic experiences are being stored in the physique memory to, at some stage later in life, manifest either mental or physical distress and problems.
Dutch psychiatrist and pioneering PTSD researcher Bessel van der Kolk writes in his book The Body Keeps the Score that so many people with histories of trauma and neglect, experience extreme disconnection from the body and how painful experiences impact the development of mind and brain.
This highlights that mental health and associated mental skills become quite relevant and important when it comes to Continuous Medical Education. Not only from the patient’s perspective but also from that of the medical professional.
Covid 19 certainly has brought mental health to the forefront to become a major consideration in all our plans and efforts.