Experiences in the conquest of neurosis by Morita Therapy


Chronic weak stomach cured in three

By Mr. Teruo Ohnishi, Toyonaka City

Always worrying about my stomach

When I was 17 years old, I drank a beer after taking stomach medicine. It caused my stomach trouble. Since then, I suffered from a chronic weak stomach for 25 years. I always felt sick, had a stomachache. To go to a pharmacy or a hospital often was part of my daily life. I resigned myself to having a weak stomach as a chronic illness. My doctor diagnosed my illness as gastric atonie, gastritis and a touch of gastroptosis, and advised me not worry about things too much and to do proper exercise and eat digestible food. Everyone around me worried about my health because I always looked pale and thin and declined to go out eating and drinking.

I was finally hospitalized for malnutrition

Since my forties, other illnesses, such as a colds, tonsillitis, asthma and poor blood circulation started to trouble me. I often had to take a day off for them.

I couldn't bear to leave my illnesses as they were any more. I tried many treatments, such as Chinese medicine, acupuncture and yoga. Yoga advised me to eat lightly. Although it made me feel better, my weight went down lower and lower as my meals became lighter. My weight was 54 kilograms but it went down to 46 kilograms (I am 166 cm. or 5'5" in height). At last I was hospitalized for malnutrition. I was diagnosed as having gross anemia, loss of appetite, and an underactive stomach. Although I was treated in a hospital, my stomach condition continued, and I never recovered from my illnesses. Six months later, my heart and back started to hurt. I moved to another hospital which treated both mental and medical illness. I was diagnosed as having anxiety neurosis and an eating disorder. I had counseling and autogenic training for four months, but I didn't get well at all. I didn't know what I should do next. I was at a loss for a long time.

Many people have the same problems as mine

At that time, my cousin happened to recommend Morita Therapy to me, I read "The Morita Therapy Series" (published by the Life Discovery Society). The Morita Therapy book was completely different from other medical books I had read. It told me clearly what caused my weak stomach. I realized that all my illnesses were caused by my character traits. I worried about my weak stomach needlessly and excessively suspected that it was seriously bad. I imposed this suspicion on myself. It caused a vicious spiral of attention and sensitivity. I bought all of the books about Morita Therapy and looked for anything about gastrointestinal neurosis and read it. I never thought there was anyone who had stomach trouble like mine, but I found a lot of examples of symptoms which looked like mine in Morita Therapy books. By reading them, I made up my mind to try Morita Therapy.

Taking meals even having an upset stomach

At first, I practiced Morita Therapy fearfully trusting the theory as I learned it from the books. I started by having three meals a day, no matter how small they were, even though I had an upset stomach. To force a meal always made me feel sick at the next meal, but even so, I forced myself to do it again. I persuaded myself that if I couldn't digest food, I must throw up, and I continued to have meals regularly. I tried to make them bigger and bigger. In the process, the experiences of people who conquered their problems in the books encouraged me a great deal. The most important principle is "To do what should be done even having fear and anxiety." I applied it to my case; it was "To eat when I should even having fear and anxiety." No matter how sick I felt, I practiced it thinking my intestinal nerves were abnormal. Naturally, after a meal I sometimes had a pain in my stomach. I felt bad choking on food, or I had a headache. I had some sleepless nights because my stomach was bloated, but I never failed to have a meal. I took good care of my stomach before but it didn't make me well. So this time I treated my stomach roughly. My feelings were "If pushing doesn't work, then pull" or " The reverse is also true." Dr. Morita said, "Do it even while doubting. This is the scientific spirit. My therapy can surely cure neurosis.".

One month, then two months passed. I was gradually able to have a meal with confidence. I was sure that neurosis caused my weak stomach. After that I continued to increase the amount eaten during meals. It took me another three months to be able to eat the normal amount. In those days, my weight increased from 48 kilograms to 58 kilograms. It kept increasing afterwards; six months later my weight reached 62 kilograms.

Twenty years have passed since then. I live an extremely healthy life without medicine. I have the normal amount of meals and drink alcohol more than normal. I am deeply grateful to Morita Therapy and my encounter with it.

(The writer is a Board Member of The Mental Health Okamoto Memorial Foundation)


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