What do my symptoms say about me and my life?

bubblesWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

Emotional connections to symptoms

In my graduate program in social work I was gifted a book called, You Can Heal Your Life  (1999) by Louise L. Hay. In this book there is a list of problems in alphabetical order which are linked to probable causes and plans for new thought patterns that can alleviate the emotional roots of the problem. It didn't mean much to me as I didn't have an understanding of the connection between emotions and physical symptoms at the time. However, several years later, I was working with a patient who was working diligently to get into medical school. His sessions consisted of discussions about meeting the impossible deadlines of his life. He was experiencing a lot of stress as he tried to figure out how he was going to make this happen. At the same time, he developed some medical issues that eventually he disclosed to me: Hemorrhoids.

I stumbled upon this book, stuffed within my shelves, during this time.

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What 'Light Your Sparkle' means to me

sparkle 13Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

I kept the secrets in my home, pretending to be everything my parents' wanted me to be; burying my true self and hiding my pain. My parents' pride-- their acceptance-- became the essence of my existence; I didn't know I was capable of having my own voice--my own pride. It stole energy from my body, maintaining the masks and the secrets; my feelings screamed to come out. With nowhere to go, my feelings expressed themselves through depression, anorexia, and illness. I hated being in my body--I hated being me.

My symptoms screamed to the world that I was suffering. My body tried to get the attention of doctors, teachers, family, friends--and my parents. No one wanted to acknowledge my suffering as it meant an honest interaction with the truth. I submerged my existence to my false self; at least it kept me breathing. I had no identity, no voice, so at least the status quo granted me approval--the pride of others.

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What will you give up to heal?

I haven't always been willing to "give up" the things that were contributing to my illness. However, in order to commit to full healing, I have had to cultivate a willingness within myself to really look at all facets of my illness--diet, relationships, lifestyle, habits, perceived necessities.

Allowing anything that impacts my health negatively to remain part of me or my life is non-negotiable! I am number one!

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A facade breaks down the body

facadeI have had to accept that all of the times in my life where I wasn't being my authentic "me," for many reasons, contributed to a disease process in my body. The more I become who I am meant to be and free myself to live my life in a way I choose--the more healing I have experienced.

"The maintenance of a facade predisposes a person to somatic illness because itimposes a constant stress upon the body.  One tries to be what one isn't which deforms the personality and the body.  When the deformation (stress) persists long enough, the internal structure of the body breaks down.  It is not the facade that breaks down but the tissues of the body."     ~ Alexander Lowen

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Finding the Best Fit in Health Care

lightbulbsArticle Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
October 29, 2018 SocialWorkToday.com

The Empowered Patient

I never imagined being fired from a physician. It seemed like the last worry I should ever have. After all I was already managing the anxiety of the diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder: Crohn's disease. I was critically ill and I did what I thought I should do—seek expert opinion. I went to see physicians specializing in gastroenterology. The first physician told me the only treatment available was surgery and immunosuppressant drugs. When I said, "I have researched Crohn's disease and I see some people benefitting from dietary changes," she said, "Diet will have no impact on your incurable condition." I inquired further; after all, as a social worker, I was accustomed to consumers asking questions and exploring options to help them find solutions that were self-congruent. "What about fish oil?" I said. The physician replied, "If you choose to challenge my knowledge and not follow my recommendations, then I suggest you not come back."

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Why Me?

why me compareWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

The problem with comparing yourself to others

I have seen a lot of healers, participated, explored, learned about a lot of healing approaches. One common theme throughout my experiences with healing modalities was that each physician/healer thoroughly believed in what they did and also believed that their treatment would be the cure for my medical woes. While this attitude surely creates a lot of optimism and fosters hope, what happens to the patient if this is not realized. For most of my life, I have struggled with the "why me" attitude. Why am I so complex? Why do I fully commit to protocols that many people don't consider trying, and I still have problems? Why do I keep getting infections? Why do I still have allergies?

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How Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) Saved My Life

naet angel friendWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

Timing is everything.

It does not matter if you have been exposed to something a million times; unless you are ready to receive it, you will not. Unless you are at a time in your life where you believe it is relevant, you won't recognize it. An angel who had been trying to get my attention for quite some time kept knocking at my door. This angel would change my life forever. A friend, whom I met at ballroom dance, had called me numerous times over several years, leaving me voicemails about a technique she studied that could potentially help my medical condition. She watched me from afar, seeing me grow more ill, and tried to gently redirect my attention.

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