A Case Study - the effects of a long-term spirit attachment and its removal
by Richard Hankins
This case study, drawing on Richard's personal experience, deals with a long-term spirit attachment that first affected his life in early childhood before its eventual removal some sicty years later. It gives further insight into the effects of such an attachment in a particular life situation
The extract below is the first part of the study the full version can be accessed in .pdf format (Please click here to access and download).
Early In 2016 I visited David Furlong as a client, with the presenting problem of dysthymia (low-grade, chronic depression), which started when I was about 18. I am now 61. Initially I lived with it giving me several difficult months each year. It wasn’t formally diagnosed as depression until I was 30 (one GP thought I had glandular fever, as so many students did).. From then on it was treated with anti-depressants by various GPs. These worked alright, but I was always aware that they were only treating the symptoms, and I was always wanting to find a real cure.
In pursuit of that cure, I tried numerous treatments including counselling, full blown psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, psychosynthesis, hypnotherapy, body work, mindfulness and creative writing. When I wasn’t actively trying one of these, I told myself that the depression was just a chemical imbalance, which was largely genetic (thus justifying the continued treatment with other chemicals).
By the time I arrived at David’s door at the age of 60, I had also developed over these years a spiritual practise of listening to my “inner voice”, with various lengths of time spent in a variety of Christian churches between 18 and 35, then dabbling in the New Age movement, and ending up as part of my local Quaker Meeting from the age of 50 onwards. So when David did a guided meditation to meet with my Higher Self (H-S) it felt pretty familiar territory. My H-S presented himself as a centaur named Alleyn.
I was able to share with David various events forming part of my life journey, but which I didn’t understand the relevance of at that time.
A major life event was going to university at 18. Within about three weeks of arriving for the first time, I was invited by my lab partner (I was reading engineering) to go with him to hear a Christian preacher talk about the relevance of Christianity to modern life. I had had the usual vague Church of England upbringing, with occasional church visits plus lots of school assemblies, which left me thinking that Christianity was pretty irrelevant to all modern life. The preacher was a sort of intellectual version of Billy Graham, and I was duly converted and absorbed into a very strong Christian fellowship within my college.
What occurred along with my conversion to Christianity was a major change of behaviour, perhaps even one of personality. I went from a very withdrawn, severely shy teenager totally lacking in confidence in any social situation, to a virtually normal, friendly person interested in other people and comfortable with being with them. I certainly did not become an extravert, but at least I was a fully functioning introvert, able to cope with – even thrive in - normal life.
Previously in my teens I had a few acquaintances who I did electronics or music with, but no-one I could call a friend who I could share my thoughts and feelings with. That was my state of mind from 11 through to this conversion period at 18. My only emotional “outlet” at this time was playing the piano, an activity I started about the age of 6, and I was very good at it, entering and winning numerous competitive classes in the Brighton Music Festival. At home I would play for many hours at a time: in this case think of the film “The Piano” rather than someone doing hours of tedious finger exercises. Indeed, if my piano playing had a problem, it was that I never did any exercises, and my technique was always poorly developed – but apparently more than made up for by emotional expressiveness.
By the end of my first year at university another change became apparent in my inner world – and that was the arrival of depression. I was struggling with the heavy academic work required. By the end of the second year I was totally unable to function in the exam room in many of the papers. At Cambridge that’s a serious matter because there are no retakes allowed. You either pass – or you fail. Fortunately I went to my tutor and told him about the problem before the results were announced – and I was duly packed off to the university counselling service. I don’t recall them achieving very much except to discover that “I had never shared with another person so much personal detail”, which was, of course, perfectly true. I failed the exams, but was awarded a pass on the basis of my previous coursework.
In subsequent years I experienced the depression in various ways. Firstly loss of energy and interest in life. I never missed a day’s work, but I could readily sit at my desk all day and do nothing. Secondly, I would get semi-suicidal thoughts like “What is the point of going on?”, “You are worthless”, and similar. And I noticed a sort of “tunnel vision” effect in my head – I have noticed the same effect from drinking too much alcohol, which is of course a depressant (contd as .pdf format).
The full article is available in .pdf format. Please click here to access.
♥♥♥♥About the author
|Richard Hankins is married to Rachel and has three adult sons. He studied engineering at Cambridge University and went on to work in various branches of electronics until he he was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2000. That led to early retirement - at least from paid work. Richard now does voluntary work helping people suffering from mental ill health, who have problems with the benefits system and who generally find everyday life a severe challenge. He has been interested in spiritual matters all his life and joined the Quakers in 2005.|
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David Furlong - www.davidfurlong.co.uk/
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