Another mind/body thing I've had has to do with eyes. (This is not a back problem except for being a pain in the rear end). I have a long-standing problem with strabismus*. My Mother told me that when I was a child, the problem would sometimes get worse. I now think that it got worse after I was abused.
It is cosmetically displeasing. (it looks funny for one eye to be looking one direction and the other at something else
). Also the problem has been linked with dissociative disorder I have had as a result of abuse as a small child.
I had an orchestra conductor make fun of me once, saying that I had one eye for the sheet music and one for the conductor. This was very embarrassing to me and made me feel bad. By that time I was becoming aware that the problem was somehow related to abuse I'd experienced. It was as though someone was making fun of me for something horrible that was done to me and that I had no power to control as a small child.
But this matter is not known to the eye doctors even today. They see it as simply a muscle imbalance problem. I had surgery once for the eye muscles by one of Philadelphia's best, but it proved ineffectual. The workup they did before surgery suggested that I used one eye for close-up and the other for distant vision. The doctor was very curious about this because it was so unusual.
I did have one eye doctor spot it correctly. When I was 15 and a very hurting boy, my father took me to the optometrist. My parents were beginning to become aware that I had problems. The eye doctor (Opthalmologist) told my father that my eye problem was because of "emotional problems". That eye doctor was the father of one of the astronauts in Apollo 13. (Dr. Swigert). In that day they called it "emotional problems". They didn't know much about that either.
But I have done enough work with psychological therapists and with vision therapists to be very certain that it is not merely an eye muscle problem with me. I have really worked at this. And I have experienced tremendous improvement. My optometrist was truly amazed because it's not supposed to be possible for an adult to improve this condition. One of the T's that I have seen suggested that the near-visioned eye was for sexual stuff because it was used in close-up and because the problem apparently started when I was a very small child. I felt a little huffy when he said that but maybe there was something to it.
So, my strabismus is apparently related to dissociative disorder.
That explains why it can improve even when I'm an adult. It explains why I had to have a combination of psychological and visual therapy to correct this problem. I asked the T who administered EMDR therapy about this. He sounded out the optometrist who was my vision-therapy specialist about it (they went to the same synagogue). My EMDR doctor said: "He's a million miles away from it". In other words (my words) don't expect my vision therapist to be able to link the vision problems with my dissociative problems resulting from CSA (child sexual abuse). They can't and don't.
I think this is a big need in the field of strabismus research and practice to link strabismus problems with dissociative disorder. They apparently know nothing about this and yet it causes some of us a lot of grief.
I would appreciate it if any of you guys out there have had problems with this. I might be able to advise you on it
*strabismus = A visual defect in which one eye cannot focus with the other on an objective. Also called squint.