Wednesday, May 19, 2010


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.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Often times I hear said,

“What is wrong with me?”

“What is wrong with her? What is wrong with him?”

“She has everything going for her—good background, excellent marks, awards, money, talents—she is the most amazing artist, he is a gifted musician, she is the top player on her volleyball team, he is the fastest runner, skater, we’ve ever seen—she is the best at anything she does. She could have a brilliant future. We have given him everything. What more can we do? We just don’t understand what has happened to our son—our daughter.”

“She never fails at anything--except the programs she has been in and THOSE she fails at EVERYTIME.”

“She was the nicest kid; he was the most considerate of all of our children—BEFORE these OCD and eating problems arose. We just don’t get it. We don’t know our child anymore.”

I hear these remarks so often with overwhelming sadness at the misunderstanding involved, both for the parents and therapists—also for the disapproval I know the people suffering from ‘CNC’ will undoubtedly sense and feel—again confirming their negative condition.

The reality is, that accolades are acutrements to the external world of a person’s being. People assay to attain their perceived expectations of themselves and their assumed expectation from others.

“You are wonderful!”

“Bravo for what you have done.”

“Imagine what you could do if you really tried.”

‘Congratulations,’ so well intended by the giver, to these sensitive minds can sometimes have the opposite effect of what is meant. In their efforts to be unselfishly, forever pleasing, they strive beyond the norm—beyond, sometimes, what is humanly possible. Therein, begins the downward spiral of self-disapproval and the seeds of ‘Confirmed Negativity Condition.’

Remember, accolades are external. Finally, what the rest of the world sees as ‘attributes’ or ‘characteristics’ of a person, become relatively meaningless to the sufferer of ‘CNC’. What is important to understand, is that, the ‘Emotional Mind’ has unwittingly suffered insufficiency of love and unintentional neglect from its host person in the unchecked, insatiable quest to feel whole—ultimately, to please others, to right the world of all its malaise. “The world is on my shoulders.” The inadvertent message to the ‘Emotional Mind’—you are less than successful—finally,—you are a loser—has finally, become a self-fulfilling prophecy in their minds. Also, parents, and other people, in the particular circumstance of the growing child, have innocently participated in its dissolution by taking the child at its word:

“I can do it!”

“I can fix it!”

“I will look after her.”

“Here, let me.”

“No, I don’t mind babysitting.”

“Doesn’t matter if it is not my turn, I’ll do it anyway.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make the lunches. You sleep in.”

“No, no, it’s ok. You can be later than one. I am not tired. There is nothing important happening at school tomorrow anyway.”

The child, in many cases, becomes involved in co-parenting.

The parents, in many cases, in their own moments of emotional insecurity, come to lean on the kindness extended by their sensitive child—and come to expect it (“You can count on me”).

In reality, the child—then, as years go on—remains the ‘Emotional Child’—unnurtured, expected to cope in an adult body—so capable externally, while withering internally.

You are all so special and so cherished—and so understood.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why The Emotional Mind Is Arrested

I was astounded, in my ignorance, that my children became ill with anorexia because they defied what was then explained about that patient population. Only retrospectively, did I realize that they had had previous symptoms: OCD related, anxiety manifestations. They had always been the best children—the most polite—the most fun—the most obliging—the most intelligent—the most caring—the best company—the most sensitive to other people’s needs. Over the years, since they have become well, these attributes have been confirmed in other sufferers of ‘CNC’.

It appears that, in their attempts to provide comfort to anyone in pain—to mediate, to console, to take responsibility, to parent those around them, basically, to ‘make everything better for EVERYONE’, they, sadly, left themselves out of the equation. It became apparent to me that always putting themselves last, in other words, always putting anyone and everyone else first, played nasty retribution in their own minds. The fact of actually diminishing themselves mentally over time, left the mind washed of their emotional, and ultimately, their physical, importance. At their inadvertent suggestion, strengthened and confirmed by the unawareness of people in the sufferer’s circumstance, the ‘Emotional Mind’ took them at their word, and declared them (in not so gentle terms) “worthless” etc.

Perhaps, and hopefully, the following quotes, taken from letters to me, will serve to enlighten you, as readers, with the ultimate purpose of creating more understanding.


After twenty years of fighting against the ‘Negative Mind’: “I am so tired of taking care of everyone.”

“It’s alright, Daddy. Don’t worry, I can fix everything—just go rest.”

“I watched myself from outside of my body, trying SO hard keep anyone from discovering the truth about how horrible I was. I blamed myself. I should have done something, I should have figured out a way to make everything okay... but I couldn't.”

“I had a meeting yesterday with my psychologist. I can't stand up for myself, and let him know how I really feel. I can't do anything else but smile and say “ok”. I feel so much lonelier now than I did before the meeting.”

“I’m really interested in what you do because I have been fighting the ‘Negative Mind’ and anorexia for 10 years. It is really hell, but I hope to learn something good from all the suffering because I want to help young people avoid getting to this place—but I don’t know how.”

“I first became anorexic when I was twelve and had it until I was 19, but at that time, my father died whom I was very close to. So, I gained weight because people were worried about me. However, I was unable to tolerate the weight gain and bulimia then set in.”

“I feel so much worse that I've been "faking" recovery to please everyone.”

And another, similarly, said:

“I don’t deserve to even exist. I just want to disappear forever. I feel like one huge mistake I've been "faking" recovery to please everyone…but I’m dying inside.”


Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring. Love you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chronological Age vs Emotional Age

Often times I hear, “I should know better. I am 37 years old--I am 47 years old. I can’t seem to get my life together. I am hurting everybody. What is wrong with me? I would love to have someone take me in their arms like a child and just hold me.”

These statements illustrate the distress, the quandary, in the minds of sufferers of ‘CNC’ . In some circumstances, chronological age can have very little to do with emotional age. Physical aging happens to us inevitably, whatever else is going on in our lives. We have little control about that process. Emotional age can be deterred, interrupted, or arrested, depending on sensitivity, perception, circumstance, and our ability to allow ourselves to be nurtured.

Early on, I realized that an emotional child could be any age. The problem with this reality is that it is not always (or hardly ever) recognized as such. Therefore, the expectation—the norm—is to treat the sufferer according to his/her chronological presentation rather than to nurture that person according to his/her emotional need.

It is my experience, that understanding a person from his/her emotional need—presentation, is an essential starting point to beginning the healing process.

Have a wonderful day. Peace and Love.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Counterproductive Crossroads

One of the things I have always felt incredibly sad about for the sufferers of the ‘Negative Mind’—and also for those who lack awareness of ‘CNC’—is hearing the terms “treatment resistant”, “noncompliant” or “You will not want to take me because I have failed every program that I have been in”.

I feel, from my understanding of this disorder, that though the behavior of the sufferer may make one assume that there is resistance to treatment or noncompliance, this inability to be in accordance with therapy is consistent with the insistence of the ‘Negative Mind’, rather than be the wish of the ‘Actual Mind’—the real, the potential person. Because of this seemingly uncooperative attitude, patients are frequently ‘kicked out’ of treatment. Remember, at the point of symptomatology, the ‘Negative Mind’ is the stronger part of the mind—it is the ‘boss’. If this were otherwise, the ‘Actual Mind’ would not be in the position of having to endure insults, all day, internally. If these insults, or, even if faint indications of disapproval are apparent to the patient, the ‘Negative Mind’ is confirmed, yet, again. So, to ‘fail a program’ merely reiterates the negative non-sense the sufferer already supposes about himself/herself. So, with this ignorance, we have arrived at a counterproductive crossroads. We are making the sufferer responsible because of chronological age, rather than emotional ability (this topic I will discuss in its own blog post next time).

Remember, you are not guilty. You are terrified and terrorized. You are a hostage in your own mind.

We understand this.

Peace and love.