Reacting to What has Happened: underlying Causes of Unexplained Illness

People get ill when something happens to them that they cannot deal with. Using individual case histories and evidence from the aftermath of disasters, this talk documents the relationship between life events and illness. It explains how when something happens to us, it is usually felt in the body, but if those feelings can be put into context to create and emotion and that emotion can be worked through and resolved then the bodily sensations and reactions disappear. Illness develops when the tension cannot be put into context or worked through and is more likely to occur in situations reminiscent of previous traumas or novel disturbing events where we have no previous experience of resolution to draw on. In this talk, I present a new approach that links, stress and emotional regulation to otherwise unexplained illness.