“The big lie is your problems in your life are because you inherited them from your mom and dad. Genes account for about 30% of the healthcare problems in our country [U.S.]. About 70% are because of your bad habits.” –Dr. Daniel Amen, MD.
We don’t like to be told that we have some responsibility for our own ills. This is especially true if those ills are “mental.” However, since 2004 researchers have amassed hundreds of studies supporting the discovery that environment and behavior play a key role in gene expression. In other words, genes are not about destiny. When our doctors admonish us to better manage our stress, take time off, eat right, exercise, take medications, or go to therapy it is not catchall advice. It’s required for health. We do have a responsibility to manage our health, mental health included.
God “has called us to a holy life.” He has also given us “a spirit of power and love and self-control” that we are to “stir up” in order to live that holy life. Common sense responsibility-taking for our own bad habits along with the courage and perseverance to change those habits is part of the road to a holy life, and health. Doing our part does not guarantee cure or complete permanent mental or physical health. It does put us right with God and serves as an example for others.
Dr. Amen quote taken from the workshop, “The Most Important Lesson Learned from 87,000 Brain Scans” presented at the Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, 2014.
Scripture quotes are from today’s reading, 2 Timothy 1: 1-3, 6-12.
Picture is the mark left on our window after a dove flew into it. Sometimes we can be a “total idiot” as Tom Hanks accused himself of being during an interview on May 18, 2016 regarding his developing diabetes.