Dear Annie: Thoughts on physical and mental health –

Dear Annie: As I was reading the letter from “Burnt Out,” the woman whose husband was chronically ill at moments of pressure, I wanted to say that the advice you gave about how this could be a mind/body issue sounds spot on to me, based on my personal experience.

The book you recommended, “The Mindbody Prescription” by Dr. John Sarno, has been very helpful in my own recovery from pain issues. I would also suggest “The Meaning of Truth” by Nicole Sachs. This book has allowed me to put Sarno’s findings to practical use.

The information in these books has given me a new lease on life, with less pain every day. Kudos for suggesting and bringing awareness to the mind/body connection. — Grateful for Mind/Body Writings

Dear Grateful: Thank you for telling us of your experience. Here are two more letters that offer different perspectives:

Dear Annie: In reply to “Burnt Out,” it sounds like he is suffering from anxiety. I say this because I was diagnosed with anxiety 15 years ago after several years of trips to the emergency room with symptoms of everything from heart attacks and strokes to blocked bowels, bone pains, muscle pain, pneumonia and other ailments.

A big factor in dealing with anxiety is that the medical community doesn’t have much of a grasp on the root causes or how to treat it. The medical community also seems to be fighting against itself. ER doctors tend to look at people with undiagnosed anxiety as drug seekers, while therapists want to prescribe drugs that turn most of us into depressed zombies.

“Burnt Out” should wait until her husband has had a few puffs on the pipe and is in a relaxed state of mind. Then, she should make a few friendly comments, over several sessions, suggesting therapy. People with anxiety tend to be easily triggered by small suggestions. Her small suggestion should be a positive one. And she shouldn’t worry about or focus on the pot; it’s probably the biggest breakthrough the medical community has made in treating anxiety and pain management in decades. — Just Another Crazy Old Man

Dear Crazy Old Man: You’re not crazy at all, and some of your suggestions are good ones, based on your personal experience. Thanks for sharing your perspective with my readers.

Dear Annie: I am a 61-year-old mother of four who has been married for 40 years. I’m also a retired dental hygienist, and I consider myself basically stable-minded. But my health resembled “Burnt Out’s” husband, starting in my 20s. I had random periods of unexplainable physical illness that progressively got worse.

Long story short — at 52, I was admitted to the hospital with “stroke-like” symptoms. I remained there for five days. Diagnosis: Lyme disease. After IV antibiotic treatment, I was still symptomatic. I remained too ill to ever go back to work.

I found a doctor who practices outside the box. Her diagnosis was three tick-borne diseases: Lyme, Bartonella and Babesia. I am a nonmethylator, which means that I do not eliminate toxins. I had biotoxin and heavy metal toxicity. I had adrenal fatigue and low thyroid. I have the gene mutation called the “dreaded gene.”

I was granted disability. I am now in control of my chemistry, but I remain constantly alert as to what triggers my symptoms. I practice health maintenance every day.

My advice to “Burnt Out” is to get her husband to a holistic doctor. My diagnoses have been spot-on with healing results. — It’s a Wonderful Life

Dear Wonderful Life: Your story is one of hope and success after being confronted with unimaginable health challenges. I love the way you signed your letter. It truly is a wonderful life. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to


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