Today was full of magic and madness. Magic because I was able to paint all day undistracted. Madness because I am reading this important book – It’s All In Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan. It’s been shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2016 and the important take-away is that psychosomatic illness needs psychological treatment in order to bring it into consciousness and allow for healing.
To clarify, the author says “…I have met many people whose sadness is so overwhelming that they cannot bear to feel it. In its place they develop physical disabilities.” So here is an unconscious, dissociative coping strategy.
We need to de-stigmatise mental health/illness and go some way to helping the estimated one third of people, who visit their GP each day with medically unexplainable symptoms. “…physical manifestations of unhappiness are something we all experience, it is not a personality flaw or a sign of weakness, it is a part of life.”
So, go read the book and I would advocate art as a fantastic way of addressing unhappiness!