When the Mind Goes Wrong, the Body Goes Wrong
I am reading Is It All in Your Head?: True Stories of Imaginary Illness That I can recommend highly.
My family is a good example of one with plenty of craziness in it – most of it at a low level, but very definitely there, and debilitating. And mostly (or completely) denied.
The main point of the book is relating how mental illness affects the rest of the body – in medical illness, that is. The opposite is also true – medical conditions have a strong effect on one’s mental condition.
Dr. O’Sullivan tries to show how each affects the other. A difficult task, since Mental Illness is very difficult to analyze and to treat. I think she would be better off, if she told her patients this, up front. “No one knows what causes your illness, and recovery is unlikely.”
Or “Your illness has many emotional causes, that are hard to pin down. Complete recovery is unlikely, but some improvement can be expected, if you work at it.” That patient would not stay around long. They want a miraculous cure, and will accept nothing less.