This post was written by my late wife, Sandra Michaelson, a psychotherapist and author. Her digital and paperback books on relationships and codependency are available at this website.
Many studies have shown that stress can cause disease and that suppressed anger or fear can make us sick. Negative thoughts and emotions depress us and affect our immune system.
So pain and illness can be seen as a manifestation of an embedded emotional conflict. We can use illness either to mobilize us for further psychological growth and enhanced physical health or to mire us more deeply in disease and a victim position.
Health problems often are an indication of a needed change in how we feel about ourselves and our lives. Illness can be a physical representation of forces in all of us that oppose our wholeness, victimize us, stop our progress, and render us powerless.
For example, the genital disease herpes can be a manifestation of a part of us that’s entrenched in feeling defective, contaminated, unwanted, unlovable, and rejected. This disease often represents an expression of unconscious sexual conflicts and feelings of shame and self-rejection pertaining to our sexual conduct and our sexual identity. [Read more…]