Reduction of reactive faculties

In normal persons, the brain is constructed in a way that allows it to react against any exterior influences that may disturb its functioning. Psychasthenic persons, on the other hand, are exaggeratedly impressionable. This condition is, relatively speaking, more pronounced when dealing with minor external influences than with major ones. We have, in fact, observed that these people seem able to bear the brunt of an intense psychological trauma, while becoming completely unbalanced by some minor incident. This can be explained by the fact that an intense disturbance is strong enough to awaken their reactive faculties, while a minor one is not, and therefore leaves them defenseless.

All the little incidents that occur during the course of a normal day, including changes in the weather and atmospheric pressure, be they hot, cold, wet or dry (each patients has his or her specialty) has a detrimental effect on both the mind and body. A slight problem assumes tragic proportions, a minor setback becomes a disaster.

This seems absurd to persons who react with normal cerebral control; their brain tends to automatically get rid any harmful influences, like a rubber ball that bounces back to its original form after absorbing the shock of a disturbance. In patients with insufficient control, the opposite occurs - even a minor disturbance results in a very strong impression that tends to remain fixed in the brain.

How can this exaggerated impressionability be modified and a normal reactive faculty re-established? That is what patients must learn to do.

First of all, they must be conditioned to accept the following axiom: "No exterior influence has an absolute effect on the brain." This means that although we naturally perceive outside influences, both strong and weak, we must always consider ourselves capable of controlling our reactions and overcoming them.

It would be useless to talk about control if this were not true. And as absolute as this axiom may seem to patients, they must use it as a basis for defending themselves. This is the only way they can awaken their normal reactive faculties, increase their resistance and self confidence, and cease being a slave of all and any exterior impressions.

If patients refuse to accept this truth, they will be sure to suffer a relapse. They will never be able to defend themselves, since they believe that the sensations and symptoms they experience, although caused by exterior influences, are logical and cannot be combated.

They would be true if exterior influences affected normal persons in the same way, but their error lies in the fact that it doesn't - it has no effect unless a person's brain is passive, and therefore incapable of reacting properly.

We ask patients to verify for themselves what we are proposing, through numerous experiments. When their attitude has been modified in a positive sense, they will be convinced that we are right. In most cases, exterior influences cannot produce harmful effects unless the brain is in a passive state. In its active state, the brain is always capable of reacting. If warned in time, and if they possess the ability to modify brain activity from previous training, patients soon learn to defend themselves. Relapses are insidious, usually stemming from a patient's inability to differentiate between normal and nervous reactions. The following case history is a clear example:

Mr. C left the treatment center fully confident that he was cured. On the trip home, he caught a slight cold. His doctor, who considered him to have a weak constitution, advised him to be careful and stay in bed for awhile. The patient gradually became depressed. He developed a persistent headache, and feelings of fatigue and lassitude grew until any activity became difficult, and all the symptoms of his neurasthenia reappeared. The patient placed all the blame on the fact that he'd caught a cold, and it didn't even occur to him to react. He wrote me a month later and asked for my advice. As soon as I wrote back and explained his error, all his symptoms disappeared.

We could cite a host of similar relapses, some due to even more absurd causes like a bout of anger or some extremely minor, everyday incident like breaking a pair of glasses. We always find the same error - the patient does not react, thinking that any attempt to do so would be futile.

0 0

Post a comment