Chronic Illness as Trauma: The Case of Endometriosis, an Adlerian Perspective

When confronted by the diagnosis of endometriosis, many women experience psychological distress. Some are initially told by medical professionals that their symptoms are somatic. However, additional study reveals that, when determining the etiology of these women‘s emotional distress, their psychological state is a response to verifiable physical discomfort and chronic pain. Telling women experiencing autoimmune disorders that their symptoms are somatic frequently results in a deepening of their distress and despair. From the emerging field of trauma research, this experience is not only distressing; it can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. From an Adlerian perspective, this thesis explores ways in which psychologists can help support a woman with endometriosis. Recommendations are offered concerning appropriate treatment and future research.

Laurie Ann Moser
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