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Agnus Alexander | agnusalexander122

Diagnosis, Cure, and Karma Centered Therapy

Dec 23rd 2013 at 3:36 AM

All too often, people seem to feel that the diagnosis of a problem is equal to the cure.

Take alcoholism, for example. Is the first step to getting sober stating there is a problem with drinking, as in “I am me, and I am an alcoholic?”

No, it isn’t! The first step to getting sober is to stop drinking, and the second step to not being an alcoholic is to keep doing Step 1!

Perhaps after doing that for a while, it’s all right to say we are an alcoholic and look into why we became one in the first place if we want.

Think about the same thing with, “I am me and I have an eating disorder!”

Maybe we have emotional eating, or binge eat, or any of the other specified or not otherwise specified eating disorders. Admitting there is a problem does not equal a cure. All identifying a problem does is identify the problem. No more. More requires action. More requires a change in our behavior.

The real first step to ending an eating disorder is to stop doing it. The second step to eliminate the disorder in your life is then to keep doing Step 1.

The only way to solve an eating disorder is to identify the disorder and then to stop doing it. Eventually after we have been on this healthy path for a while, then we can admit that we have the specific problem if we wish.

In fact, in many situations, a diagnosis may actually be used by the person as an excuse that justifies the behavior to themselves and prevents actual change.

One may internalize and reinforce the behavior as ‘this is me and I can’t change.’

It becomes the banner that they wear, their identity, their excuse. Even leading to secondary gains from others on occasion.

Stop the dysfunctional eating behavior! Not because you admit you have a problem. Stop because you know something is wrong and although you don’t know what it is, you know it relates to your eating.

You don’t need to go any further than that. In fact, any further than that and the justification begins: it is a disease, it is genetic, it is psychological. The more detail and labels and excuses you find, the more you may become emotionally overwhelmed, and with that you play into your eating disorder.

Ever since I did my first psychiatry rotation in medical school, I’ve been an advocate for what I termed Karma Centered Therapy. At its simplest definition, karma implies a change. My concept was that knowing the need for a change was sufficient information to make a change. Seemingly, the understanding of the whys and wherefores of our past would come much easier to us after making the change rather than spending our valuable time searching for all that, and then making or not making the same obvious change.

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