Sad little voices write to me, or talk to me:
“I have relapsed again.”
“I am now 38 years old and suffering a relapse, after one of the girls I was helping died directly from Anorexia.”
“I feel that hospitals mainly place an emphasis on re-feeding the patient to fatten them up and do not focus so much on deeply attacking the underlying issues of the disorder itself. I think this is why the relapse rate is so high for eating disorders.”
“I just got out of the hospital after a two-month stay, for my sixth time. Unfortunately, I've spiraled into another relapse and am not doing so well and looking at a possible readmission.”
“I don't want people with any diagnosis to be stuck to a lifetime of outpatient therapy. Yet, it seems to me, the way they are taught in this field--plus the restrictions of providing services in this country equates to minimal efficacy and chronic relapse of any symptom.”
“I have struggled, and am still struggling, immensely. I was ashamed to say this. OCD makes some days a living hell. Treatment after treatment, I have come out and relapsed.”
“My daughter was first diagnosed in 2004 and has relapsed during the past 12 months.”
What I sense over and over again is the shame of the sufferer; the embarrassment of the sufferer; the guilt of the sufferer for having ‘failed’ again.
How wrong is this!!!?
How hopeless is this!!!?
In Latin, “relapse” is defined as ‘a gradual slide back to a former state.’
In the most common language offered to sufferers of the symptomatology of ‘Confirmed Negativity Condition’, relapse suggests wellness existed before the slide back into illness.
Every intuitive sense in my body, every logical conclusion based on evidence that I have seen, tells me the opposite. In my experience, to do with these conditions, there is no such thing as ‘relapse’. Wellness can only be attainted if the condition (and its symptoms) is properly addressed—and then only if it is properly understood. Wellness—meaning positivity, objectivity in emotional maturity—can only exist if there is total and complete reversal of negative thinking about oneself. We can use the metaphor of the course of antibiotics stopped before its completion—or expecting a proper birth of a child after only two months in the womb—or the incorrect setting of a broken bone by taking the cast of prematurely.
Should we not be looking at treatment that extends itself to when the patient is well, or strong enough to continue with the loving support of a kind circumstance, rather than when insurance runs out—when the program is completed?
Perhaps, then, the onus will not rest on the shoulders of those emotionally incapable of serving themselves, but rather, will be shared by encouraging, visionary therapists who, themselves, are sometimes frustrated with their administrative limitations.
Thank you for your time.
Peace and Love.