A Headache in the Pelvis, case history #3
Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:30 pm
Received from David Wise Ph.D:
Patient Recovery with no physical therapy
(While most patients require both paradoxical relaxation training and physical therapy, there are patients whose condition is very close to the symptom threshold and the relaxation/behavioral intervention can abate symptoms. Here is the story of a patient like this. DW)
"I first experienced prostatitis when I was around 23 years of age. Basically, I developed a rather noticeable pain in my left groin that simply irked the heck out of me and would not go away. Numerous urologists diagnosed it as epididymitis, but the funny thing was that it wasn't particularly responsive to the antibiotics that were prescribed. Moreover, it had this rather strange tendency to occasionally migrate to the right side, in which case the strong pain I had felt on the left would totally vanish. For about a year, it manifested primarily on the right side. Then, it switched back to the left. The discomfort generally didn't go away, though over time, what initially felt like a pretty distinct pain in my scrotum generally became a more generalized feeling of discomfort. It stuck with me throughout my graduate studies. Even during my first professional job in an office, it was there, without any sign of relief. Basically, it not only irritated me but also worried me tremendously.
After about eight years, I had pretty much resigned myself to living with that condition indefinitely, which was not a rosy picture at all. Luckily, by that time, the internet had taken off as a vital source of medical information. After reviewing numerous websites, I came across the findings of Dr. Wise. I was struck by two things. The first was the startlingly accurate description of my condition in his writings. It seemed he had a handle on what was going on, which was namely that this "condition" seemed to be in a category all its own. The second thing was the real breakthrough: the possibility that the ultimate source of this discomfort was not any infection, not any structural abnormality, but simply TENSION, muscular tightness that restricted the entire area that was affected.
To make a long story short, this basic insight was nothing less than a breakthrough for me. I eagerly contacted Dr. Wise, to learn as much as I could about his "theories." I was always pleased to see that his model of prostatitis seemed to accurately reflect all the rather subtle qualities of this strange condition with which I had been living. For example, I noticed that my discomfort would increase dramatically whenever I had caffeine, or whenever I became stressed over anything. Perhaps the most important discovery offered by Dr. Wise was the knowledge that this condition had its origin ultimately in my own state of mind, or mental state of dis-ease. As such, I knew I myself could fix it, simply by "unwinding" so to speak.
To make a long story short, within about a six month period after simply learning about what was really going on, I basically found the symptoms disappearing. In other words, simply realizing that my own thoughts and beliefs were at the root of this proved to be the best medicine. Simply by refusing to worry and, even simply by just understanding my condition, miraculously, the pain went away! Now of course, this does not mean there was no effort involved, or that it happened overnight. But the one thing that is clear is this: the less helpless I felt towards my situation, the more it improved.
Basically, the first step was just plain knowing that "nothing was wrong," and the second step was making a concerted effort to relax and work through and accept the pain, even when it was still there. By learning to see the pain as acceptable, so to speak, I managed to put it out of mind. Once I had gotten into a pattern of really being able to stop thinking about it (which is much easier once you know it has no real "physical" basis, at least not in the form of a virus), it just plain vanished! Basically, I am now free of prostatitis."