Sarah Wilson versus Amy Stockwell: stress, “self-hate” and health

According to Sarah Wilson, Dr Habib Sadeghi “cites self-hatred as the real cause of chronic disease, particularly in women.” I’ve watched the whole TED talk video and I didn’t get that message at all. I have included the video at the end: see if you get the same message as Sarah. Maybe I just missed something.

As someone currently returning medical test results pointing to an auto-immune condition myself, naturally I was drawn to both Sarah’s article and a response  article by Amy Stockwell, “Sarah Wilson says she knows why women get sick. And she’s wrong“.

A couple of days ago I wrote “What I’d like to say to Chris Bowen if I could“. For those new to our history, Chris Bowen was the Minister for Immigration at the time I battled the Australian Government for the civil right to choose my own husband. In that article I talk about the role of cortisol in health. Dr Sadeghi also talks about the role of cortisol in his recovery.

A few words from Sarah:

I always say that I can spot an “auto-immune type”. They have an intensity about them, a desire to impress. They’re always the ones at the front of my lectures, frantically taking notes. They have an air of ‘I’m not good enough as I am’. I know as I write this, many heads out there are nodding.

And a few from Amy:

Women don’t get sick because they hate themselves. It’s tantamount to saying that disease is all in our heads.Telling women that it’s their own fault that they are sick is mean and foolish.

One thing is for sure, I don’t hate myself. I don’t consider myself an “auto-immune type”.

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What I’d like to say to Chris Bowen if I could

As I sit here propped up in my bed, a folder containing a string of medical referrals and tests staring at me, I can’t help but wonder how much of my health problems have been caused by what your and your staff put me through. Oh, I can never prove it, of course. But that’s the point isn’t it? The Public Service is immune. Especially the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Very well protected. Sadly Australian citizens aren’t so protected from the department.

Do you know what cortisol is, Chris? It is a flight or fight hormone. The Mayo Clinic says:

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

There is also research showing a correlation (not yet proven a causal relationship) between cortisol and breast cancer. Research is continuing. No, this doesn’t apply to me, but is a good illustration of the potential of cortisol to damage the body.

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Blanc, Bernardi, visas and free speech

Australia’s police chiefs have cited society’s “vulgar and violent attitudes toward women” as a primary cause of the nation’s high level of domestic violence. Changing men’s behaviour is seen as the ONLY way to address the problem.

Tasmania’s commissioner, Darren Hine, said cultural change can begin with society’s influencers – sportsmen, businessman, actors and other personalities – standing up to condemn violence against women and children.

Yet the same week we had a foreigner and one of our own senators sending different messages entirely.

The foreigner, Julien Blanc, had his visa cancelled and departed. Or departed and then had his visa cancelled, depending on which report you read.

His tactics, which include choking women and pulling them into his crotch, were criticised online as misogynistic and abusive. (Source: ABC.net.au)

Lovely. In my view his attitude is both violent and vulgar. The cancellation of his visa, however, raises other questions. Gay Alcorn and Wendy Harmer are among those who have expressed concerns over Morrison’s possible overreach of power, a dangerous precedent. Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 has been raised by some. I suggest people be careful of criticising Morrison’s decision simply because he is Morrison. I am not one who supports Morrison: hell, I killed him off in a bit of short fiction. In this case, however, I support his decision. I’m not alone.

I do have an issue over Morrison protecting us dear little Aussie women from Blanc’s vulgarity while at the same time treating asylum seeker women so abominably. Then there is question of the visa cancellation by Morrison versus Brandis and his belief in our inalienable right to be bigots: protection of the people versus freedom of speech. Bigots often incite violence, just as Julien was considered to be doing. Trish Corry asks will Brandis shirt-front Morrison? Surely we can’t cherry-pick our freedoms? Freedom always has to be balanced with protection: Blanc is this week’s illustration.

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Crazy in the Night

Heard this today and decided it about sums up how I feel right now: work + politics + health + bills. Normal life for most of us, huh? :)


I have joined the Australian Progressives

I was looking for a political home after leaving the Liberal camp. Political parties named after individuals are not my style. Political parties with the word “sex” in their name I can’t ever see being in power. I’m not much of a petrol-head. The Greens I did consider because at least they fight for the welfare of asylum seekers. Clearly I did a little more research that I’m alluding to here, I just didn’t feel I’d found a political home.


Then I happened to notice that the founder of March in March, Tim Jones, had founded a political party. This is interesting, I thought to myself. I paid a visit to the website, and read the policy outlines.

Education – a vital investment

Education is a right for all, and is a vital investment in our people, our ideas and the progress of our society. We need a genuine education revolution at all levels, with more focus on nurturing creativity, providing our teachers with proper support and resources, and broadening the focus of what we teach, how we better engage students, and how we measure success in learning. Government needs to ensure all Australians have access to equitable and affordable educational opportunities. Investment in all levels of education will help us build a better Australia.

Yes, I agreed with that, I did. What did they have to say about climate and asylum seekers?

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The CPU is fine, the peripherals not so much

Up until we are about forty, many of us are invincible. We drink, smoke, work, run, jump, eat and have sex with impunity. Then we hit the big 4-0. We might notice the odd stiff joint, or women may start having plumbing issues. We start getting grey hair perhaps, or the odd line or two on our face. We find it harder to keep off the kilos. Maybe we are working harder in more senior jobs and let our activity levels slip a little. But over all it still isn’t too bad for the majority of us.

Source: all-free-download.com

Source: all-free-download.com

Then we pass that next milestone, the half a century. That is when our bad habits of the past start to laugh in our face. Or maybe we are just not as blessed, genetically, as others. I was planning on sky-diving for my seventieth birthday because I figure if I crash and burn, I won’t have wasted many years.

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Bye-bye books, hello Apple

I wonder if centuries ago parents despaired when textbooks appeared? The hornbook was good enough, surely?


According to Jeff Dunn of Edudemic, in 1925 Thomas Edison “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” Check out the old technology on Jeff’s article – the memories come flooding back.

So we come to the 21st century. I had heard of other parents having to provide iPads for their children’s schooling, but so far we had not had to do that. Mr 16 was part of a laptop program but it was provided by the school. Today I got handed a lovely note by Miss 12.

All students in years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 100 in 2015 will be required to have an iPad ready to be used by the first day of next year.

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Leaving Islam – the greatest jihad?


green sign with the word islamic state in arabic and english language standing in the white sand of the desert.

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com


The news is full of muslim converts striking out for Syria to answer the IS call to jihad, but what about those who no longer feel connected to Islam? In a religion inconsistent with science, logic, human rights and ethics, one so riddled with contradiction it offers equal endorsement of opposing arguments, rational-minded individuals must be leaving Islam in droves.

Aren’t they?

Tectonic Drift

Summer is a speck in the rearview mirror and Autumn is well underway. The metamorphosis outside echoes my internal state of flux. Tremulously yet inexorably, as a compass needle seeks true North, my worldview is re-orienting and an unexpected casualty in this stripping away of superfluity is my faith. It’s been a slow creeping process, this revolution of mine – seasonal in its pace and just as imperceptible. But I can see now it’s been building for a while. Continue Reading »


The Journey from Apartheid to Pistorious

Social media is alive with news of the sentence in the trial of Oscar Pistorious in a South African court.

There is another story here which we are overlooking. Let us not forget that black South Africans first voted in 1994 in post-apartheid South Africa. That is a mere twenty years ago. Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison, battling for freedom.

Tonight we witnessed  a black South African woman sentence a white South African man to jail. Despite what any of us may or may not feel about the actual sentence, there is no denying this was a momentous occasion.

Judge Masipa would have been a teenager or young child when apartheid ended. Her people were not even entitled to vote. Today she sat in judgement of a fellow citizen.

There is no question this was a high profile case that attracted international news coverage. We could watch the sentencing live.

While I personally think the sentence should have been longer I take into consideration the prosecution failed to disprove Pistorious did not shoot at a perceived intruder. I do not know the sentencing standards in South Africa, but I did listen to the Judge’s reasoning comparing similar cases and her rationale. So while in my country I would have expected a longer sentence, I take into account my ignorance about the South African legal system. Many experts had been predicting no jail time, so I think any jail time is better than none. I recall OJ Simpson was acquitted.

Let us not let our debate about the length of the sentence overshadow the advances black South Africans have made in a mere twenty years. Many of us in the Western world have little comprehension of the history.


Muhammad Ali in full flight – why is everything white

This video says SO much. Watch his cheeky grin and you know this is edutainment. Of course, being an atheist I can’t buy Muhammad’s “learning the truth”, HOWEVER given Islam abhors racism it is see clear why he  reverted and much of the truth he talks about IS truth (losing names and history etc).  The title in YouTube is “funniest video”; yes, it is funny but the message is deep.  Muhammad’s brain was faster than his famous fists.

It is interesting that his sentiments here about the now versus the hereafter differ from the views expressed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.


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