Love: The Most Effective Therapy Part-1

 

It has always been the dream and desire of human beings to find a miraculous remedy for living a life free of worries, problems, diseases and disorders.  Media is replete with information regarding cures and remedies for various physiological and psychological disorders. Health and physical fitness has become a multi-million dollar industry. The moment you access the internet, you are faced with unending commercials for treatments and cures for various disorders. It has become a fashion on social media to post varieties of cures for almost any disease on this planet. It appears everyone has an opinion on how to use herbal and natural remedies for cures.

With the advancement in science and technology, experts are bringing into the market new and progressive methods of treatment. But the list of disorders also keeps increasing with strange and unique symptoms appearing every now and then. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, Alzheimer, HIV and Arthritis are some of the uncountable diseases that keep challenging medical science.

Although there are victories gained in many areas of health, medical experts are still battling to find treatment for terminal diseases. Not surprisingly, medical research has focused on external factors like tablets, injections or surgeries to cure the disease. But very little attention has been given to the psychological, cognitive, emotional, spiritual or cultural aspects which carry profound therapeutic effect.

One very powerful emotional factor that is often misunderstood or ignored in therapeutic studies or therapies is “love”. It is indeed a very powerful emotion that brings tremendous miraculous changes in a person’s life. The history of human development has records of countless stories indicating that love changes and shapes the most aggressive and violent attitudes in human beings as well as in animals. There have been some research studies on the damaging effects of loneliness on biological health. Loneliness is a behavioral aspect when a person is not positively connected with people around. The person faces problems in developing positive and healthy relationships with others. Research studies indicate the devastating chemical changes that take place in our bodies when we are not well-connected with people in our environment. In spite of the evidence of the damaging effects of loneliness, unhealthy relationship and connectivity, the dismissive attitude of health experts towards the therapeutic value of love is disappointing. This is despite the fact that love is considered the most powerful anti-depressant. Love is the best cure for all the psychological, physical or physiological disorders.

I remember a case of severe anxiety and depression that was referred to me by a psychiatrist friend of mine. Jamal (not his real name) was a 45-year-old man, physically in good shape. He was a graduate and was working as a language teacher in Rawalpindi. Jamal was married. He had a wife and three school-going children. As happens in most of the cases in Pakistani society, his marriage was arranged by his parents. In traditional Pakistani family, the concept of love and romance before marriage is rarely acceptable.  Society neither allows nor appreciates it and arranged marriages are the acceptable norm.

Jamal’s marriage was one such case. His wife was illiterate, she was a stay-at-home housewife. Jamal’s job was a daily routine of work from morning till evening. He had to do extra tutoring in order to make both ends meet for his family. Life was pretty tough.  When Jamal came to me he was very tense, sweating and very much depressed. I listened to his story and his problems. A therapy plan was designed. I tried all the possible psychotherapeutic techniques I knew. I encouraged him to take interest in his family by taking them for outings and to various social activities. I made a daily activities plan for him in order to bring some joy and pleasure in his life. He was very cooperative in following my instructions. Despite every effort nothing seemed to work. One good thing was that he kept coming to me regularly for counseling. He wanted to improve but there was something that was blocking his efforts to improve his health. Several months passed. Jamal was struggling with himself. I was waiting for a miracle. Psychotherapy and counseling went on and on. I had complete confidence in the therapeutic techniques I applied on Jamal.   Psychotherapy takes time to show results depending upon the personality and the nature of problem of the client. This was exactly the story in the case of Jamal. The miracle I was waiting happened one fine day. Jamal came to me one day to attend his regular counseling session. His face was shining and there was a joyful expression on his face. He was perfectly relaxed which was visible from his forehead, the fingers of his hands and the movement of his arms. The entire body language of Jamal was indicating that he was experiencing happiness. He said, “Professor Shah, I have come to inform you that I do not need your counseling anymore. It’s not because of any weakness in your therapy plan. It’s because I am cured. My anxiety and depression have gone. I have thrown away my medicines which my psychiatrist and my physician had given me”. I knew what he was saying was absolutely true because I could read the expressions on his face. One quality of Jamal I knew was that he was a very honest and truthful person. He would never compromise his principles of honesty and truth for the sake of worldly rewards. I asked him how all this happened and what change had taken place in his life. He told me that he met a woman who told him that she loved him. He briefly told me the story of how he met her and how it all happened. He described the feelings of joy the incident had brought in his life. The entire world appeared to look beautiful to him. He enjoyed taking interest in all his activities. It was as if he had found the meaning in his life. The incident brought him out of his loneliness. He got connected with the world around him. He was no more a lonely person working the entire day like a robot without any feelings. There was joy and happiness in his life. Jamal said bye to me and left.

I do not know what happened to Jamal after that day because he never met me since that day. I could not get in touch with him or his family. Nevertheless, that was the first and the last time I saw Jamal in perfectly relaxed and joyful mood. His blood pressure, his sugar level, his chest pain and heart-burn had all vanished. That’s exactly what he told me. He was cured because he found love that he was deprived of all those years. He discovered the right connection that connected him to the rest of the world with whom he was not at all responsive in positive and healthy way. Jamal, his family, the woman who expressed love for Jamal became one with the Universe and that’s when all the problems got resolved. It was not a temporary phase of elated mood that comes over people suffering from depression. If it was, he would surely have come back to me.

Undeniably, there is truth when experts say that love is the most effective remedy for all disorders. Jamal found unity, relationship and connection with the universal forces and the heavenly realm. Jamal had found love that led him to spiritual peace and emotional contentment.

Mumtaz Shah