If you have nervous illness, you will notice that, you have certain symptoms as a fairly constant background to your day, while others come from time to time. For example, the churning stomach, sweating hands, and rapidly beating heart may be more or less always with you; while fear spasms, “missed” heartbeats, pains around the heart, trembling spells, breathlessness, giddiness, nausea come in attacks at intervals. The constant symptoms are those of sustained tension and fear, hence their chronicity; while the different recurring attacks are the result of varying intensity in sustained fear, hence their periodicity.
“This is too simple for me”
The treatment of all symptoms depends on a few simple rules. When you first read them you may think, “this is too simple for me”. In spite of this, you will need to be shown how to apply this simple treatment and may often have to reread instructions.
The principle of treatment can be summarized as:
- Letting time pass
There is nothing mysterious or surprising about this treatment, and yet it is enlightening to see how many people sink deeper into their illness by doing the exact opposite.
Let us look again briefly at the person described in the last chapter, the person afraid of the physical feelings aroused by fear, and see if we can pinpoint his own treatment of his illness. Self Esteem.
First, he became unduly alarmed by his symptoms, examining each as it appeared, “listening in” in apprehension. He tried to free himself of the unwelcome feelings by tensing himself to meet them or by pushing them away, agitatedly seeking occupation to force forgetfulness – in other words, by fighting or funning away. Self Esteem. Also he was bewildered because he could not find cure overnight. He kept looking back and worrying because so much time was passing and he was not yet cured, as if this were an evil spirit that could be exorcised if only he, or the doctor, knew the trick. He was impatient with time. Self Esteem.
Briefly, he spent his time:
- Running away, not facing
- Fighting, not accepting
- Arresting and “listing in”, not floating past
- Being impatient with time, not letting time pass
Need we be impressed if he thinks it will take something more drastic that facing, accepting, floating, and letting time pass to cure him? I don’t think we need.
Now let us consider how you can cure yourself facing, accepting, floating and letting time pass.
We will first consider cure of the constant symptoms and then of the recurring attacks.