Environmental Illness: Myth & Reality
Environmental illness: certain health professionals and clinical ecologists claim it impacts and inhibits 15 percent of the population. Its afflicted are led to believe environmental illness (EI) originates with food, chemicals, and other stimuli in their surroundings -as advocates call for drastic measures to remedy the situation.
What if relief proves elusive-and the patient is sent on a course of ongoing, costly and ineffective "treatment"?
Several hundred individuals who believed they were suffering from EI have been evaluated or treated by Herman Staudenmayer since the 1970s. Staudenmayer believed the symptoms harming his patients actually had psychophysiological origins-based more in fear of a hostile world than any suspected toxins contained in the environment.
Staudenmayer's years of research, clinical work-and successful care-are now summarized in Environmental Illness: Myth & Reality. Dismissing much of the information that has attempted to defend EI and its culture of victimization, Staudenmayer details the alternative diagnoses and treatments that have helped patients recognize their true conditions-and finally overcome them, often after years of prolonged suffering.
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What is environmental illness?
Idiopathic environmental intolerances
Auxiliary postulates the protective belt
Inappropriate use of diagnostic methods
Inappropriate use of treatment methods
Panic attacks and anxiety disorders
Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder
The limbic system and trauma
exploitation and harm
Studies supporting the psychogenic theory
A cohort study of chronic fatigue
Assessment of the toxicogenic research program
Placebo and somatization
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abnormalities activation advocates alleged allergy amygdala anxiety disorders appraisal arousal assessment associated attributed behavior beliefs biological brain catecholamines chemical sensitivities childhood chronic clinical ecologists cognitive context coping cortisol defenses demonstrated depression diagnosis disease double-blind DSM-IV ecology effects El patients emotional environment environmental agents etiology evaluation evidence experience explain exposure factors fatigue fear harmful hippocampus HPA axis hypotheses identified individual interaction levels limbic system mechanisms mediated memory multiple chemical multiple chemical sensitivities neurasthenia odor onset overvalued ideas panic attacks panic disorder patients personality disorders phobias physical physicians physiological placebo post-traumatic stress disorder postulates presented processes provocation challenge psychogenic theory psychological psychophysiologic PTSD reactions reported research program response scientific self-report Selner sexual abuse sick building syndrome social somatization somatoform disorders specific Staudenmayer stimulation stress stress-response stressor studies subjects suggested symptoms syndrome testing therapy tion toxic toxicogenic theory toxicologic trauma treatment unsubstantiated validity