Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Question about insight

Posted by Racer on March 19, 2004, at 11:09:08

Since I'm drowning in self-doubt right now, I'm gonna have to frame this in an example of what I'm trying to convey. My question is about insight, and whether or not what I see as insight into my own condition is real or imagined.

When I first saw my pdoc, I stated that I'd had an eating disorder. From my perspective, it's true: I restricted food to a ridiculous degree, experienced my body as humongously fat when in fact I was underweight by any standard and others were telling me so, and exercised to excess. Even while that was going on, though, I was aware -- somewhere inside me -- that what I was doing was not normal, not healthy. I was aware that something was wrong -- and even aware of what it was, aware of its name -- but I couldn't stop it and couldn't internalize that reality. It was like looking in through a window, in the rain, and seeing a warm, cozy parlor -- but not being able to find the door. The pdoc said that I didn't fit the DSM IV criteria for anorexia. Why? My periods didn't stop. I weighed between 75% and 80% of what would have been a healthy weight for me. I was weak, bruised easily and often, fainted pretty frequently, and thought I was such a failure for being so fat -- even though I knew that I was not *really* fat.

Now tell me this: did I have legitimate insight into my condition? Does that realization that something was wrong constitute insight, or is it some weird pathology that prevented me from having real insight? Does the fact that I knew my perceptions were flawed mean that those perceptions were not real? Were they factitious? Or did I have the initial insight required to recover? Were those truly legitimate insights into my condition, insights which -- had I had access to help -- would have aided in my recovery?

I guess what I'm asking is whether we're capable of having legitimate insights into our conditions, or whether our belief that we have insights is in itself pathological?

Thank you!




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