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Silva-Garcia, J. (1995). The Host of Disease. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(2):119-124.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(2):119-124

The Host of Disease

Jorge Silva-Garcia, M.D., F.A.A.P

This paper emphasizes the need of knowing the frame of orientation in which the interaction between the host and the disease takes place. It is not the same to regard falling ill as a result of moral transgression, as a divine punishment, or as a simple cause-effect process—these frames implying the passive impotence of the host—as to conceive disease as another of those inevitable contingencies of life such as pain, ageing and death that can be lived as testing our mettle. Experience of patients with organic diseases in hospitals, as well as examples taken from medical reviews, emphasize the important contributing role of helplessness and powerlessness as well as of tedium, indifference and rage, rage which usually covers up fear.

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