Illness and Sickness

What is Developmental Trauma, and how do people perceive and understand the symptoms? Not very well. Ken Wilber says:

In any disease the person is confronted with two very different entities.

One, the person is confronted with the actual disease process itself – the “illness”. Illness is more or less value-free – it’s not true or false, good or bad, it just is.

Two, the person is also faced with how their society or culture deals with that illness – with all the judgments, fears, hopes, myths, stories, values, and meanings that a particular society hangs on each illness. Call this aspect of disease “sickness”.

Science tells you when and how you are ill; your particular culture tells you when and how you are sick. When sickness is viewed positively and supportively, then illness has a much better chance to heal.

It is through science that I seek to explain my illness, but it is through society that I seek to understand my sickness.

When society judges a sickness to be bad, it almost always does so out of fear and ignorance.

The less the actual medical causes of an illness are understood, the more it tends to treated as a sickness due to character flaws.

Read an excerpt from his book Grace and Grit to find out more about how Developmental Trauma is perceived in different societies..

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