A person’s story can be very important in many different types of health problem and disease
Consider the following:
A man developed sinusitis in August each year and it lasted until Xmas. It originally began when his wife gave birth to their first child, in August, and he felt competition for her attentions. He had had it for 15 years. Many investigations and treatments failed to help.
It finally disappeared entirely when we noticed that each year in early August he would feel a dread coming on: “it will be here again soon”. Within 10 days he would be sick. Confronting this dread resolved the problem permanently.
[thesis_block type="note" header="NOTE" content="Physical factors are often important in sinusitis. Have you been investigated by your doctor?"]
A 32 year old woman has had chronic headaches for 10 years. She says that she first got headaches at age 14 when her father died of cancer.
They lasted about 6 months at that time. When she was aged 18 her boyfriend dumped her and the headaches began again, lasting for 6 months. At age 21 she got pregnant and the father abandoned her without warning heading overseas.
We concluded that her headaches had something to do with being left or rejected or abandoned by significant males.
[thesis_block type="note" header="NOTE" content="Physical factors are often very important in headaches. Have you been investigated by your doctor?
A fit young woman who did a lot of sport and outdoor recreation has an extraordinary 6 year history of tendon ruptures and stress fractures unable to be explained by many specialists on the basis of her activities. Her life becomes severely curtailed. Eventually the story is uncovered.
At age 6 her family breaks up and there is a threat of being adopted out. At age 9 her mother marries again and another 9 year old comes into the family. The new girl falls off a horse and breaks a leg. Our patient feels that she loses her mother to the new girl. Three weeks later she falls of her bicycle and breaks an arm and gets mother back again, so to speak. Nothing more happens until she meets a young man and marries and sets her heart on children. But he wants nothing of this—it would spoil their outdoor recreation lifestyle. She does not want to challenge this for fear of losing him, but she starts to get injured.
It is pointed out that the injuries may be ‘code’ for resistance to him. She and he have a joint session together and within a month she was back doing the usual activities. She became pregnant. Three years later she continued to be injury-free.
A 47 year old woman has two diseases: hives(an itchy rash) and Crohn’s disease (an inflammation of the bowel). She says that they come on in September each year. When we examine this closely we find that the illnesses originally began as she became increasingly frustrated with her husband, a workaholic engineer who was too busy to meet either her intimacy, recreation, or sexual hopes and needs.
But each year she would feel hope revived around Christmas time when the family were around and her illnesses would improve. She would begin the New Year believing the year would be different. But gradually as the year went on hope would subside and the symptoms would reappear.
[thesis_block type="note" header="NOTE" content="Physical factors are often important in bowel and skin disease. Have you been investigated by your doctor? "]
Patient B, a 39 year old woman with a 15 year history of pain in the vulva, vulval eczema, vulval warts, and vaginal thrush was referred for “help in coping with her vulval pain.” Around age 20 she had 3 unsatisfactory sexual relationships, the third being emotionally abusive, leaving her “bloody angry”, and “undermined in what I felt about myself sexually.” She felt extremely inadequate. She vowed to remain “celibate.” Soon after this, the genital symptoms began, and persisted despite all forms of treatment. At age 38 she started exploring her first relationship after 14 years, and the prospect of marriage made a resolution of the symptoms urgent. She entered psychotherapy mid-1997 and explored many issues, including her underlying sense of inadequacy.
By the 13th session she was reporting freedom from symptoms, and there were no visible abnormalities of the vulva. She married and, soon after, her symptoms exacerbated as she struggled anew with conflicts relating to trying to be more than adequate on a number of fronts, as a wife, lover, mother, income provider, home keeper, friend, and hostess. Resolution of these conflicts around adequacy led to resolution of the symptoms again. Three years later she remains extremely well with no vulval symptoms except for minimal vaginal soreness during two days of her period. She says the difference is ‘enormous’.
[thesis_block type="note" header="NOTE" content="Physical factors are often important in genital inflammation. Have you been investigated by your doctor?