Thursday, April 17, 2008


Kathy's Dusty Trails has an interesting tag going. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 people.

In the last tag I participated in I declared it to be an OPEN TAG. I am doing the same with this one. So, if you read this and want to play along, go for it! Just let me know in the comments so I can go check it out!

The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders
by: John E. Sarno, M.D.

"If this patient had experienced a real conversion hysterical symptom rather than a psychosomatic one, it would have made no difference. The purpose of the symptom is a defense, but it is defending against the painful and dangerous feelings and the possibility that they may be experienced consciously, an eventuality that the ego could not permit under any circumstance. Freud's attaching importance to 'an erotic idea' is consistent with his view at that point in his career that sexual factors were at the root of many neuroses."

Alrighty then. So, why the heck am I reading this book? Well, I came across a blog by someone who had SD who was healed through the books/DVDs put out by this doctor. I just had to check it out.The ailments talked about in the books are more along the lines of back/neck pain, fibromyalgia, and carpel tunnel. However, there are equivalents, which, apparently, SD would fall under but I have yet to come across an actual mention of it. Other equivalents include, gastro/intestinal problems, asthma, allergies, etc.

The idea is that these illnesses are all psychosomatic and originate in the sub-conscience and is your body's way of distracting you from the rage you are repressing. The cure? Just to realize the illnesses are psychosomatic and realize your true emotions. I have not read the entire book but I'm having a lot of trouble with what I am reading.
Interestingly, Dr. Sarno covers himself on page 31, "Experience suggests that in the United States only 10-20 percent of the people with a psychosomatic disorder are able to accept the fact that their symptoms are emotional in origin. Many are downright hostile to the idea." Soooo... if this doesn't work for you, it is because you are one of the 80-90 percent of people that are unable to accept what he says. I'll have to tuck that diabolically clever line of BS ah.. I mean, reasoning away for future use.

Yesterday, I posted on the SD Bulletin Board about some of what I'd been reading, looking for others that have actually read the book. I am going to re-print an excerpt of it here:

Suppressed rage??? Really. Okay, so I am a super nice person and rather than have anyone ever know that I get angry I've developed SD??? I am really trying to have an open mind here. I also don't want to check my brain at the door.

I would love to have a little sit down with my self and have the SD just disappear. Granted, I haven't read the whole book but... I mean, what would that look like?

Me: Hey Self, How ya doin?

Self: Uh, not so good. I'm repressing rage.

Me: Really? What's that all about?

Self: Well, when I am disappointed or something doesn't go my way, instead of allowing you to express it, I come up with some weirdo ailment just to make you miserable and to show the world what a nice person you are.

Me: But, I do express when I am sad, frustrated or angry.

Self: You just think you do. You are really one messed up cookie and a secret wanna be axe murderer. I am protecting you by messing up your voice, making you dizzy and giving you ulcers. I am distracting you because you couldn't handle your real emotions.

Me: I really don't think there has been anything in my life that would cause you, Dear Self, to have that kind of reaction. But, I want to have an open mind. I would love to cure us of the SD, so I'll play. Self, let's take a look at those emotions!

Self: Okay, sure you can handle it?

Me: Can you handle it?

So then what? I guess I get myself a little book and start writing stuff down? Okay, okay. To be fair, I need to finish reading the book. I am willing to take a look at myself and see if my problems are psychosomatic. By the way, that word sucks. It conjures up all kinds of negativity.

This Dr. Sarno has thrown allergies and asthma out there... which is really where my ambivalence is coming from. My son has asthma and he spent a month at National Jewish in Denver. Yes, he can bring on an asthma attack if he gets upset... but that is not what usually brings them on. He had a lot of allergies when he was small that he has since outgrown. To go by what this guy says.. my son, as an INFANT, developed allergies by suppressing rage??? What about people who are allergic to shellfish or nuts? They can have a life threatening reaction without even being aware that they had eaten any of those things.

I don't know. Like I said, I haven't read all the books yet and am only part way through the first one. I am trying to keep an open mind because, as I said earlier, I don't see what benefit it would be for **** to say she'd been healed if she really hadn't. She seems to just want to help others with SD. I am also not a doctor. Shoot, I am a college drop out! But, something is not smelling right to me.

So back to the quote from p. 123. Yikes. He's throwing Freud out there now and... I'm not that far in the book... but, is he, uh... gonna throw weirdo sex stuff out there now? Like, along with repressed rage that there is repressed wild monkey sex urges lurking...

I don't know. Maybe I just need to let loose. So, if y'all hear on the news about a big, fat white chick in her forties running naked through a city and howling at the moon and biting the heads off of newborn puppies... that might be me trying to cure myself of SD.


Brenda said...

Hmmmmmmmm. Sounds like good material to start a fire in the fireplace with! : )

Mr. Macchiato said...

A frightening mental picture it is.

Coffee Bean said...

Well, Hello there Mr. Macchiato!

Are you referring to the wild monkey thing or the naked, howling at the moon thing?

I am cracking up!

For those who haven't read over the site that might be reading this and haven't figured it out... Mr. Macchiato is my husband.

You didn't tell me if you laughed!

Flea said...

I'll be glued to the radio news listening for that last bit. :)

Yes, I agree that the book is crap. I've read my share of that kind of crap, tried buying into it a time or two, known rabid people who've tried pushing me to believe and do. Grrrr. I agree with Brenda.

Anonymous said...

Can we sell tickets?

No no no no! NO! Not for the hot monkey sex, but for the naked running through town, biting the heads off of CATS - not little puppies!

I needed this laugh today! You are too funny my friend!

Karen Deborah said...

Do you have your receit? Can you take this book back? Are you sure this person has a real license? Now that's scary. I'm back,,,,heh heh
I don't think Mr. macchiato was getting scary mental pictures about the wild monkey sex, must've been the naked howling at the moon thing. Ditto on the biting heads off, not puppies,...maybe parrots?

Arwyn Y. said...

I do agree with you with what you are mentioning about the Sarno books. I have read about them, but have not read them due to some of the ideas I've heard about expressed in them. I doubt I had a lot of repressed rage when I got SD. However, I was under a lot of stress at the time, and I know there is a psychological element to SD from personally experience. I know which situations will make it worse, but not all are psychological or stress-based. Sometimes bumping my throat is enough to make me lose my voice for days, and other times my voice will just go out during a normal, non-stressful conversation, and I can feel my muscles pulling apart.

I think that his books can show a good way to deal with SD, but I'm not sure I believe that they would cure it. Much like Scott Adams has learned how to better treat his SD by reciting nursery rhymes (I, on the other hand, can't even finish reading a children's book to my kids before my voice cuts out. Reading out loud seems to be one of the worst things I can do).

Some ideas I do agree with. If someone wants to be in pain, they will stay in pain. If you stay down about how much things hurt, you'll continue to hurt. If you continue to think you need that pain pill to get rid of the pain, then you'll need it. The power of positive thinking can do wonders to combat negative things in your life. And a lot can be said for distracting thoughts or just shutting down the idea of pain totally, which are things I did during both of my unmedicated births.

I'm very into alternative therapies for things and think our population on the whole is way overmedicated, but I find some of what he says a little hard to swallow.

thislittlepiggy said...

Laughing too hard to make a coherent comment!

Kathy said...

I am so glad that you played along. I am on a break at a clinic and trying my best not to laugh hysterically out loud. This is just way too funny. You are a comic!