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Love Your Disease.


Most illness, says the author, are self-created and self-cured. We can also use disease to learn more about ourselves.

The basic premise of Harrison's work is that illness serves a purpose for many people. It brings attention, unusual concern, and often relieves the patient of responsibilities. He further believes that pregnancy can be manipulated by the unconscious mind, that some females actually avoid fertilization because they are not ready for the task.

The impotence of early childhood, the author contends, creates within the individual a vulnerability that is carried over into adulthood. In order to feel safe, the child makes decisions to suppress feelings and to accommodate those around him. "Don't cry!" the admonishment by parents, can later result in psychosomatically caused sinusitis. Although infants cannot act on their own, they are aware of the responses necessary to guarantee their survival.

This inbred dependency is later translated in relation to doctors, who become a dominant force in the perpetual invalid's life. "It explains my inability to interest older people in the value of vitamins," a naturopath recently observed. "They don't want to have to take care of themselves. Vitamins might cure them. It's more comfortable to have their illness go on endlessly so long as the doctor is responsible for attending them."

The "loner" who avoids physical contact may be most susceptible to disease, Harrison writes. "Touching, stroking, and sexual stimulation all energize and regulate the functioning of the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, intestines, heart, gallbladder, urinary bladder, pancreas and the thermal and chemical regulators of the body. Hence a person who does not get touched is inviting physical disease."

Many doctors are perplexed by the conduct of their patients. They seem to come for help but refuse to follow advice or medical regimens. Dr. Harrison's analysis explains that the need to hang on to illness is greater than the urge to find a cure.

"An increasing number of patients are choosing to use the doctor as a resource center," Dr. Harrison is convinced. "It is a means of understanding their illness and contract with themselves to remove their malady when it is no longer needed. In assuming responsibility for their disease, they also assumed the power to remove it."

Harrison points to early childhood as a determining factor: "Many of our beliefs are created in the first few years of life. The belief that we are not solely responsible for ourselves is one of them and, as a child that is exactly the case. But the decision of childhood may be carried through into adult life even though they may be harmful to the adult in some ways. The belief that we are not responsible for ourselves and that someone else will take care of us may be expressed by getting sick."

The author is convinced that fear is the basis of all disease, that is necessitates early childhood adaptations resulting in illness. Our ailment confirms our frailty, he believes, and that the need for a caretaker extends far into adulthood, perhaps to life's end.

To cure ourselves, we need to take back the responsibility for our own welfare and acknowledge that most conditions of health and illness are of our own doing.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Vegetus Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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