December 5, 2021

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

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The Vanished Self Returns – A Case Study

12 February, 2015 @ 7:30 pm


Writer, producer, and psychodynamic psychotherapist, Annie MacDonald, presents an intriguing case study.

Eight years ago, a young man in his mid-thirties began coming to see me for weekly therapy. Since adolescence he had been troubled by ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problems, having been sectioned three times with episodes of hypomania punctuated with periods of depression. His sense of self had all but vanished and he became convinced that his body emitted a foul odour which was uncontrollable and intermittent, and this conviction caused him great anguish. It was unbearable, he told me, being him. But, after 14 years of psychotherapy with various therapists, and with psychiatrically monitored medication, he managed to complete a Master’s degree in Health psychology, studied Yoga to instructor level, took up sport again and meditated regularly. Over the past 3 years he had developed a new self-confidence and self-belief and has now written a remarkable and detailed memoir of his journey from oblivion to stability and growth. We are currently working towards possible publication.


12 February, 2015
7:30 pm
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