The Meaning (and the Narrative) of Illness

Using examples from modern case histories and historical references, I explore with the audience how illness does not so much express the pathological changes in bodily organs but represents the meaning of what has happened in a person’s life. Bodily reactions can be linked to certain life events by an emotional conditioning and evoked by any situation that is reminiscent of the original event. And since our emotional responses to certain situations are configured by the culture in which we live, this can generate the meaning behind so called cultural illness, such as obesity, anorexia nervosa and chronic fatigue.