Tales from the Practice of Medicine: Bulimia (Part III)

Yu Ling

PureInsight | March 28, 2005

[PureInsight.org] My experiences in clinical treatment have taught me that what Master Li Hongzhi said in Zhuan Falun about the causes of illnesses is true, "what actually causes people to become ill is seventy percent psychological and thirty percent physiological." (From "Cultivation Insanity" in Lecture Six of Zhuan Falun.) Without the doctor's proper psychological encouragement, the patient is likely to become increasingly worried about his illness and thus becomes increasingly ill. It shows that one's mental health is equally as important as one's physical health, if not more so.

Bulimia is an illness caused by a psychological deficit.

Heidi continued to tell me more about her youth.

"When I entered puberty I became withdrawn from people. Bulimia distorted the way I saw myself. When I looked at myself in the mirror I saw a fat girl but everyone around me kept telling me, 'Heidi, you have become too skinny!' I thought they were crazy and I was the only one who saw the truth, so I tried to convince them that they were wrong. Eventually I was sent to a psychiatric hospital to be treated as a psychiatric patient."

"Soon after I was sent to the hospital the girl sharing a room with me died. She also suffered from bulimia. When I first saw her in the hospital, she appeared skeletal. But she insisted that she was fat. I was astonished because I saw myself in her. I saw for the first time what could become of me. It was not until then that I finally admitted I had a problem. But the hospital was unable to solve my problem. Since then, I started to learn how to play games with the doctors and nurses."

"The doctors at the hospital followed a very mechanical treatment regimen. As if they were following a recipe to bake a cake, they were all following the same model to treat bulimia. Each patient had to go through the exact same treatment. Soon I figured out their mode of treatment. I acted and said things to match the anticipated results for the standard treatment. I pretended to be an innocent and lovely teenage girl while I thought of only one thing: to get out of there. As soon as I got out of the psychiatric hospital, I could eat all I wanted and throw up. No one would do anything about it any more.

I beat their treatment and was released from the hospital, just as I had planned. The treatment had failed but I had learned to manipulate others' thinking. Yet, I continued to seek out different doctors for treatment. I went from one expert to another and to one college professor after another. The next doctor was always more renowned or had more distinguished qualifications than the previous one. I had even traveled around the United States and Europe to find new medical treatments. If you are interested, I can tell you the characteristics of all the medical celebrities I have gone to…"

Her facial expression showed neither pride nor low self-esteem. She looked very detached, as if she was telling someone else's story.

This is also a typical trait of bulimia patients. They usually have multiple personalities. You see this trait in many actors. They are capable of completely detaching themselves from reality. Sometimes they are excited about doing something yet lose interest completely in just a few minutes. I had been waiting for Heidi to decide to change herself, so I mostly listened during each consultation.

Finally, one day we had a serious conversation.

"What is more important for a person? Is it more important to be pleasing in the eyes of others or to feel good about oneself?" I asked Heidi.

"During the day it is more important to please others and during the night it is more important to please ourselves," Heidi answered.

She added, "We are living in a visual society. Look at the clothes on the mannequins in the display windows. Look how tiny they are. Everywhere you go you are surrounded by countless diet, weight loss or workout advertisements. Look at the criteria for those beauty pageant contests. Look at how small the airplane seats are. There is covert pressure everywhere. I have no choice but to please others."

"Actually, you have already made a choice. To please society and to please your insatiable desire for food you chose to waste food and you find an excuse to justify your choice. No matter how far you are willing to travel to seek medical treatment, you will not overcome bulimia if you don't give up this twisted mentality," I said to her earnestly.

"I really want to change. That's why I came to you."

Heidi said, "One night I felt as if I was talking to someone. I remember it clearly, like it was yesterday. Perhaps I was dreaming or perhaps I was awake."

"Out of the perfect silence I heard a voice."

"I asked, 'Why was I born in this family?'"

"This voice answered, 'This is not your choice.'"

"'Why won't my own mother accept me the way I am?' I asked again."

"The voice asked, 'Do you accept yourself?'"

"I live in misery…"

"The voice said, 'You should be happy.'"

"I asked timidly, 'I vomit everything I eat. Have I violated God's will?'"

"The voice answered clearly, 'Yes! It is a sin to waste.'"

"I said, 'But if I become fat, will others accept me?'"

"The voice answered, 'They will accept you when you walk out of darkness.'"

After Heidi told me the strange dialogue she asked, "Doctor, I want to change myself. This time I mean it!"

I knew very well that I could not treat her as a doctor so I asked her, "Would you like to start a cultivation practice? Do you want to know the true origin and destiny of mankind?"

Heidi looked at me without answering. Apparently this was the response that she least expected.

"How do I start a cultivation practice?" she asked.

"From now on, try 'telling the truth, do honest deeds, return to one's origin and one's true self.'" (From "The Falun's Function" in Chapter II of Falun Gong.)

Heidi was unable to associate her illness with a cultivation practice right away.

"Like you said, you have tried everything mankind's medicine has to offer," I added.

"Can cultivation practice help me overcome bulimia? Can cultivation practice stop me from becoming fat?" she asked.

"It depends on your will. If you truly want to change yourself, you may as well start with your innermost nature, gradually achieve the purpose of being a true human being and finally return to your true self."

I honestly believe that this is the best treatment for Heidi.

Note: The author has obtained the patient's agreement to publish her case for clinical study and report.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/7/29/28415.html

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