Senator Grassley

Ecopsychology — Depth Psychology — and the client in pain — Somatization in the body…

I’m going to put my Depth Psychology hat back on for a minute — because I want to talk a little about pain, the pain client and an article I just read over at ABC news.

Riverdaughter, my blogging friend over at the Confluence is a scientist and she can speak to this issue from her own field.  Since she has been researching a cure for cancer for some time now, and I was trained to look at holistic means of soul cure as a Depth therapist — our two fields overlap and intermesh as “Madame Curies” in a way.

Here was RD yesterday:

“…One more thing: About the acetomenophen thingy, it has been well know for *YEARS* that as few as 4 extra strength tylenol can cause permanent liver damage.  Acetomenophen and aspirin are responsible for a lot more serious side effects every year than Vioxx or Phen-fen ever were.  It’s just our perception of them as safe, over the counter drugs and widespread use that keeps them from being yanked off of every shelf in America.  They were approved by the FDA back in the day when the clinical trials were a lot less stringent.  One of these days, I’m going to get around to writing a series of posts about how we got to the point where we can buy dangerous drugs without a prescription but prevent people with serious diseases like rheumatoid arthritis from buying prescription drugs with a much cleaner safety profile.  Eventually…”

Riverdaughter is going to have the latest news on the Swine flu as well over at her place…

But  I want to get back to my end because of a news article I read this morning.  I had written some pieces some time ago on the generation of “emo” kids and Robert Sardello’s research.   Also I had looked into work that Senator Grassley was doing in terms of fighting unethical things in the medical field.

What I want to talk about today is “pain” and the pain client.  I’m going to be talking about what is called Somatization as relates to “pain” and a little about this from the psychotherapeutic perspective.

We do seem to be at a healthcare crossroads in more ways than one, and not just in terms of insurance?

I was really concerned about how much pain the emo tribe seemed to be in?  Physical pain can sometimes be linked to psychic pain?

So, I want to take a look deeper into this news story to get at the root of something?

From the story we learn that the client is 22 years old, and that he has been in chronic pain for ten years.  He is suffering from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis?  Now, I am not a medical doctor but, isn’t arthritis a disease of the elderly?  It used to be?  The fibromyalgia appears to date from the time he was 12 in this case?

Aaron Kipnis is a scholar I know who has done research on the medicating of boys?  I have written about him before in my blog.  After reading this story, I would question what sort of chemical cocktail might produce the agony of arthritis in a young man of 22?

Could it be that some potent cocktail of anti-anxiety/anti-depressants plus over the counter drugs could cause the body to react like this in one so young?

Here is a page that will give you the criteria on Somatization.

You can pretty much read through that and see what it is all about, but let me talk a little about pain and the body and doctors.  Since we don’t know in the case above what caused the young man to need the pills he was prescribed in childhood?

After I read Riverdaughter yesterday, I got to thinking about the way that pharmacies used to be?  Basically there was a pharmacist behind the counter who dispensed doctor’s prescriptions and on the shelves you just saw a few brands of aspirin or very simple creams and ointments.  And bandaids?

I was thinking ecologically about the larger ramifications of drugs and their waste products getting into the food chain and the water?  Also in the ocean?  Because we are seeing species have to adapt to the changing acidity of the sea and so forth.

This is from the page linked above:


Individuals with somatization disorder suffer from a number of vague physical symptoms, involving at least four different physical functions or parts of the body. The physical symptoms that characterize somatization disorder cannot be attributed to medical conditions or to the use of drugs, and individuals with somatization disorder often undergo numerous medical tests (with negative results) before the psychological cause of their distress is identified. They often use impressionistic and colorful language to describe their symptoms, describing burning sensations, pains that move from place to place, strange tastes on the tongue, tingling, or tremors. While many symptoms resemble those associated with genuine diseases, some of the symptoms reported by people with somatization disorder are not. The individual usually visits many different physicians, but the information they provide about the patient’s symptoms can be inconsistent. It is important to note that while the physical symptoms of somatization disorder frequently lack medical explanations, they are not intentionally fabricated. The typical person with somatization disorder has suffered from physical pain, discomfort, and dysfunction for an extended period of time and consulted several doctors; they are hopeful that they one can be found who can identify the cause of their illness and provide relief.

Somatization disorder can be dangerous, since patients may end up taking several different medications, thereby risking harmful drug interactions…”

I treated some pain clients.

Oftentimes it is an Object Relations issue on a depth level?

Pain clients will often seek treatment from doctors and nurses because they are “cared for” by people who are filling in for self-objects who were non-existent in the pre-verbal stage to about age 9?

So, operations and pills are a form of getting attention and love from a caregiver.

This sort of wound can be treated with Family Therapy?

Talk therapy from a depth perspective over time is the key here.  You have to go back to the “roots” of the pain?

What somatization means is this:

“…Causes and symptoms

Many patients described by Sigmund Freud would be diagnosed today with somatization disorder. His patients were usually young women who complained of numerous physical symptoms. In the process of speaking with Freud, they would often recall a number of distressing memories; discussing these memories frequently led to the relief of physical symptoms. These cases formed the foundation of Freud’s psychoanalytic treatment. Although this theory offers a plausible explanation for somatization disorder, research indicates that people with multiple physical symptoms are actually more likely to report psychiatric symptoms than those with few physical problems. These findings appear to support a connection between psychological and physical distress, but are inconsistent with the idea that physical symptoms offer a defense against overt psychiatric symptoms…”

DEFENSE AGAINST PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS. One of the oldest theories about the cause of somatization disorder suggests that it is a way of avoiding psychological distress. Rather than experiencing depression or anxiety, some individuals will develop physical symptoms. According to this model, somatization disorder is a defense against psychological pain that allows some people to avoid the stigma of a psychiatric diagnosis. While getting the care and nurturing they need from doctors and others who are responsive to their apparent medical illnesses, many patients are encouraged to continue their manipulative behavior…”

I have no doubt that the young man in the news story is in agony?

And I wonder how many others in the emo tribe might be suffering as well.

What concerns me for them was that they have extreme suicidal ideation and are using cutting and so forth.

One wonders what the chemical cocktails have caused?

Is this the agony their bodies are in that is causing the “cutting?”

It is something for Senator Grassley to pursue.  I think he is doing a great job as a Senator!

Here is some additional research on this, just ignore the political part at the top!

Ecopsychology, ecosphere, EMO children a deeper look… (part 6)