Judy had been diagnosed with a thyroid problem a year ago. "Your
thyroid is enlarged, with nodules," her endocrinologist told her, and
prescribed synthroid. Now the nodules were smaller and her thyroid less
enlarged, but it worried her. She didn't want to take thyroid medication for
the rest of her life.
She also had a past history of fibroids and Thallasemia minor and occasional
heart palpitations. Judy felt really hot during her sleep; otherwise she was
chilly(2), especially when she dealt with her emotions.
As she spoke about her condition, Judy seemed anxious and nervous. She sat on
the edge of her seat looking tense. An attractive woman with dark hair, her
large brown eyes darted around the room, as if to look for hidden danger.
"Doctors terrify me!", she said. When she was six years old she had a growth
removed from her leg. In the hospital she felt horribly abandoned. When her
mother had left for the night, she cried loudly and a nurse slapped her instead
of comforting her. It shocked her deeply and led to a deep distrust of doctors,
nurses and medical settings (3).
Judy suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for the past five years. She
had a terrible fear of germs (3) at the doctor or dentists office. To make
things worse, the psychiatrist who treated her for the obsessive-compulsive
disorder was verbally abusive to her. Her trust of doctors had disappeared
completely(3), but she felt she had to take their advice because they knew more
about her problems than she did.
Judy moved to Seattle from a small city in Montana while she was pregnant.
Seattle was overwhelming and terrifying to her, especially driving around in
unfamiliar places. She gradually got used to it and could now drive freely.
Weight had been an issue for Judy since she was 14. Her desire for sex
fluctuated with her body image, and she had a mild eating disorder. Her mother
was 100 pound overweight. Judy had a critical voice inside which said she could
only be loved if she was perfect. She had to give up who she was in order to be
loved, and to be perfect for her father, who would always tell her that things
were her fault. He was angry, verbally abusive and intensely critical. She
could never say how she felt around him because he would ridicule her and tell
her she was too serious. Anger was terrifying in her house and now she turned
anger into anxiety. Her inner voice said things like "I'm unloveable" and "I'm
not good enough". She was the appeaser for her father, who would rant and rave
and throw things when he was angry.
Her father was also obsessive-compulsive and used to wash his hands over and
over. At the height of her own compulsive behavior Judy also had a handwashing
compulsion (2) and checked over and over to see if she had done things like
locking the door and turning off the stove (3). The sight of blood was very
disturbing to her (2) and she had a terrible fear of germs (3). The ideas of
having her blood drawn in a doctor's office, with the possibility being
contaminated by a needle was almost more than she could bear. As a school
teacher, she worried about a child having a bloody nose.
Judy feared not being careful enough. Being responsible for twentyfour
children in school was frightening for her. She recently saw a used condom
while walking at the lake with her daughter. It made her feel she couldn't be
too careful. She thought, "what if my daughter picked it up and died?." When
she was pregnant she feared she would hurt her baby with a knife. She worried
now about hidden asbestos in her house during remodeling. She thought, "It's my
fault, we are all going to get sick because I didn't do it correctly."