This is the title of a new documentary, directed by Rumur based on the work of Dr. Sarno. A few years ago, on the recommendation of a colleague who told me that what Sarno was saying was rather similar to the theory and practice of ISTDP (see ??) I put a small amount into his crowdfunding website. It has finally, not only made, but is available for download on vimeo for a few pounds.
I haven't watched it yet, but shall do so. It has come to mind because I have just been speaking to an old friend about the link between anorexia and rage.
In my experience with eating disorders, whether bulimia or anorexia there is often a feeling of potentially devastating destructiveness inside which the world and even their own bodies must be protected from. I am of the generation who were around for Chernobyl. On April 26th, 1986 the number 4 nuclear reactor at Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded with devastating effects.
It became a way to try and communicate to my patients that I had some inkling of how dangerous they felt. Their terror of themselves as being as unstable nuclear reactor. Given the wrong input they might explode to devastating effect, potentially not only destroying themselves but destroying everyone around them.
You think I am talking metaphorically and of course I am, but the point is that when a person is psychologically well it is very hard to relate to the terror present inside the insides of adolescents. Yet is part of a way of making sense of how sometimes shrinking the body down to nothing, or bingeing and vomiting on large amounts of food is a protective mechanism for the world, as well as the self.
I see one lovely young woman for whom eye-contact is too much. So I sit next her and we share a cosy grey throw across our knees. I hold her hand and she talks sometimes.
When her destructiveness is at its most feared I am not to sit next to her or hold her hand in case I get hurt.
People are complicated.
I am waiting to receive my DVD. Once I have watched it I will write more on this topic.