Dissociation : Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 037-045, Autohypnosis, hypnotic anaesthesias, hypnoid states, hidden ego states, depersonalization and other dissociative phenomena underlying anorexia and bulimia case studies: methods of treatment
Katz, Becky Ellen
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Katz, Becky Ellen
This paper reflects years of clinical experience with a group of patients with diagnosed eating disorders. Three cases are described in which a connection is made between their eating behaviors and dissociation. The primary emphasis is on the phenomena of dissociation, including autohypnosis (self-hypnosis), hypnotic anaesthesias, hypnoidal states, ego states, and depersonalization as an operational component of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and purging symptomatology. The primary focus of this anecdotal study is on the unconscious misuse of autohypnosis, hypnotic anaesthesias, and dissociation, which seems to be the predominant constituent behind the onset of these eating anomalies. The usefulness of this observation can be an essential precursor in the determination of an appropriate treatment strategy which incorporates autohypnosis into the overall therapeutic process. By virtue of years of unrecognized applications of dissociation, autohypnosis, and hypnotic anaesthesias, these three cases illustrate the likelihood that individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa could reverse their aberrant eating behaviors by using positive autohypnotic suggestions. In the case of anorexic patients who believe that the only thing they are able to control is their eating, the decision to use autohypnosis over classical hypnosis makes more sense. This does not force the patients to suffer the subjective experience of relinquishing control to other persons.