Body and Mind and Rape: Why The Doctors are Wrong
“Somatization disorder is a chronic condition in which there are numerous physical complaints. These complaints can last for years, and result in substantial impairment. The physical symptoms are caused by psychological problems, and no underlying physical problem can be identified.”
“A conversion disorder is a rare form of mental illness in which a person has physical symptoms that no medical condition can explain. The person is not “faking,” and the symptoms do not appear to be under the person’s conscious control. The symptoms, such as a loss of muscle control, blindness, deafness, seizures or even unconsciousness, can cause significant distress.”
The doctors have got it wrong. Just because they are unable to identify physical causes they ascribe the cause to psychology. This kind of barbaric thinking is what has damaged my body so much. The actual psychological problem lays in the doctors mind, unable to admit “I don’t understand” they blame the patient. This is another form of original sin.
The fact of the matter is that extreme psychological problems are almost always rooted in extreme physical trauma which is, or is perceived as, life threatening: Childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse. These conditions are indeed “psychosomatic” but medicine teaches doctors the wrong meaning of this word. Psychosomatic means “relating to mind and body”.
The disorders described above, if they really existed, fall into the category of “psychogenetic” disorders, which means problems originating in the mind. The problem here stems from the philosophical ideas of Renes Descartes – who tried to separate mind and body into different universes – and Freud - who first siad “my patients were sexually interfered with when they were children and show improved functioning when they talk about it”, but later said “my patients have really vivid imaginations and are kind of fu**ed up”.
Descartes ignored the fact that mind and matter can not be in entirely separate fields of existence if they are to interact, and Freud, living in Victorian Austria was quick to turn tail as his theories were socially unnacceptable to the Vienniese aristocracy who were his clients. Thus we live in a world where Descartes faulted phillosophy and Freud’s faulted psychology prevail.
In this world, doctors like to ascribe things they don’t comprehend to the psychology of the patient. This is a really easy way of not admitting their own limitations. We all know the sort of people who went to medical college. Not the brightest sparks in town, usually, but driven by the demands of their parents to succeed. they get the school grades to get into med school and then study hard to pass. They are people who need to work to understand things. They are people who, when presented with something new, something to be discovered rather than learned, fail. Not all are like that. Yet that and the career structure means British Medicine is backwards.
I am going to make another sweeping statement I can not prove but know is true. Most people who are given the label of Somatization disorder or Conversion disorder were sexually or physically abused as children. They were physically injured at the same time they endured the stress of believing their lives would end. Without “shaking off” the psychological harm and having their physical injuries dealt with appropriately they grow up compensating around their injuries. Later in llife their bodies experience multiple problems associated with these untreated injuries and the compensatory patterns they employ to survive them.
These physical issues are tied up with the psychological issues these patients face. But the link is not:
Psychological Issues –cause–> Physical Issues
i.e. it is not “psychogenetic” (mind causing physical problems)
The link is:
Rape and Abuse –cause–> Physical and Psychological Issues
i.e. it is “psychosomatic” (real physical and psychological problems with the same genesis, or origin, in abuse)
Doctors are as delusional as the average person regarding the extent of and effects of chiildhood abuse. Many are in denial. Many were abused. Some are abusers. It is time doctors stopped protecting each other and pretending they are godlike, admitted their faults and engaged patients as equals. Then physical symptoms might not be ignored and lives might not needlessly be ruined.