Brain and Gut, meet Teens

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The past lecture in class the article "Psychosomatic" was reviewed and touched based on, and I have to admit that it was extremely interesting. Who would have thought, that the gut could be so interconnected to the brain and therefore a major factor to how decisions are made, and how mentally a human can be affected? It is quite amazing. In the reading we read a short section on Freud and his patient; how he analyzed and found that his patient was showing varied symptoms and conditions where he concluded that the gut had contributed to. His analysis and 'experimentation' per say is very interesting and really reveals how the gut can cause the human body to react in certain ways, for example: his patient refused to eat because it caused great intestinal pain and nausea, eventually leading to a state of depression and solitude. His recordings of the patient really drew me into the major issue of today's young generation with eating disorders that relate the gut and brain closely. I recently read an article on teen girls that deal with eating disorders that believe- mentally, that they are not beautiful enough or better off they don't feel the need to eat. Could it be that the article "Psychosomatic" can closely relate to the 'condition' of eating disorders today? That it's a gut and brain effect? What do you think about this and can it be possible that the use of Freud's analysis of his patient can be helpful to identifying why today's generation is being hit so heavily "psychosomatically'?

http://www.eatingdisordershelpguide.com/trends.html

1 Comment

I think this is a really interesting link between the article, which chronicled some of Freud's research and theory which occurred quite a while ago, and problems within our society today. However, I think there are a few more pieces to the puzzle that are important to recognize if we draw this link between the article and eating disorders today.

The first thing that pops into my head is the impression I have of Freud's psychoanalytic theory from previous encounters with it. Freud studied mostly middle to upper class women and bases his subsequent theories on an initial theory that problems in sexual development plague women. Penis envy, the castration complex that women inadvertently cause men, and the competing id, ego and superego are all examples of this. So, while we read Freud's analysis it's especially important to understand the workings beyond this particular text that is excerpted from Freud. Though it is stated by Freud, it's possible that the patients problems with food and eating were not as simple or linked the way Freud concluded. Not to say the article wasn't interesting and complex, just that in order to link the article to eating disorders today it's important to make the distinction that we can't know the exact linkages between the two unless we understand what we are linking.

Also, I think that eating disorders in our society now have not only the causes of the body and the "gut" but also societal causes such as the messages about women that permeate the media. Eating disorders are a symptom and effect of our societal objectification and sexualization of women to the point that worth is measured in pounds and inches. While linking the Freud to present day eating disorders, the difference in societal culture and norms is important to point out. I still think its really interesting to connect the article to eating disorders though, because it is a very clear way of showing that, similar to themes of this class, our bodies is affected by everything we do and our culture permeates our body beyond the level we typically recognize.

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This page contains a single entry by Avatar Aang published on October 9, 2010 10:53 PM.

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