• Chana Studley

Super Heroes

I have a client with a mild form of autism. He is about 20 years old, a handsome young man in his first year of university. He has terrible stomach pains and allergies and so I have been trying to explain to him how the mind works and how stress can dysregulate many systems in our bodies. He is clearly having a lot of stressful thinking but his courage to keep showing up even though he often can't eat anything is inspiring. We were talking yesterday about how we all live in separate realities depending on our thinking and he told me that he has different personas depending on where he is; the Geeky Nerd at school, the Jock when he is playing sports and the Ladies Man when he is talking to girls. I asked him if he was ever James Bond and he laughed and said YES!

He gets the most pain when he is in class understandably and I'm wondering if its the stress of school that is causing the pain. I asked him if James Bond ever got stomach problems and he gave an emphatic NO! Does the geeky, nerdy, Woody Allen persona get stomach problems - YES! Does the Jock - NO! Do you see a pattern here? When he feels confident, when he isn't having distressed thinking he has no pain but when he is nervous he's doubled over in pain. He wasn't able to understand that we are always feeling our thinking so well but he was certain that a Superhero would never, ever, need to run to the bathroom .........


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