BOOK CLUB READING GUIDE
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ OUR BOOK, click here (How to Read our Book) for CONTENTS and QUESTIONS that introduce the chapters from the first three of four parts.
TWENTY QUESTIONS FOR READING CLUBS OR GROUPS to stimulate asking more right questions and facilitate sharing insights, concerns, and personal stories:
- An important concept central to understanding our book is, “The answers you get depend upon the questions you ask” (Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). How do you think this quote applies to your understanding of medically unexplained symptoms and collections of these symptoms diagnosed as symptom syndromes (functional somatic syndromes or central sensitivity syndromes, with functional referring to disturbance in how the body works and central referring to mind/brain)?
- An important question central to understanding our book is, What is behind the symptom (Karl Menninger, M.D., The Vital Balance). How do you think exploring what’s behind your symptoms might help you understand why you are still hurting?
- What is the difference between medical information and knowledge regarding your health? Why is this distinction important?
- If medically unexplained symptoms (e.g., chronic pain located anywhere or all over the body, discomfort, fatigue, and/or stomachaches associated with bowel trouble) and symptom syndromes, (e.g., fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and/or interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome are real and not “all in the mind,” why can’t doctors explain them? How could medical tests fail to show the “cause”?
- How do you think that most doctors see and understand medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes? Do other caring professionals, such as psychologists, counselors, clergy, and alternative practitioners see and understand them differently?
- Relative to medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes, why do you think that both patients and their doctors as well as other caring professionals are confused, frustrated, and fragmented?
- Describe your level of understanding regarding medically unexplained symptoms and/or symptom syndromes before you read the book. How do you see and understand them now?
- Another important concept in our book is represented by Aristotle’s quote, “The whole is more than the sum of it’s parts.” How would you compare and contrast your understanding of this observation as it relates to understanding medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes before and after reading our book?
- Do you now see that there is a global epidemic of medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes? Can you discuss some of the cultural, ethnic, and/or gender differences in how symptoms are expressed?
- Why is a linear “A causes B” explanation inadequate for understanding how and why medically unexplained symptoms are generated? What benefits does a holistic approach provide in comprehending how and why such symptoms are generated?
- What is the significance of the association of depression and stress with medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes?
- How do you experience life as, “…hard, too fast, complicated, and very stressful…”? What symptoms emerge? How much of the time do you feel stressed out?
- Since we are all different, how does “…we weren’t designed to live this way…” apply to you?
- How and why do medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes overlap and occur together?
- How does our model of disease and health apply to you?
- People suffer from medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes, regardless of their philosophical, spiritual, religious, or secular world views. How does this fact play a part in the authors’ approach in constructing an integrated, multidisciplinary model of disease and health?
- For you, what is the essence of the new model of disease, that “Disease is dysfunction, and symptoms are the expression”? Does this new model help explain how standard medical tests can fail to show the cause of many symptoms and that the absence of medical evidence is not evidence of absence of symptoms?
- Regarding how symptoms are generated, what is the role of the mind/brain BODY TALK system?
- Regarding why symptoms are generated, what roles do the other three mind/brain systems play (STRESS, EMOTION, CONSCIOUSNESS)?
- Why it is so important for all of us to re-frame our understanding of medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes before we explore how to assume responsibility for self-care? What will it take for doctors and caregivers to understand what you now know?
Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH!
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Note to Reading Clubs: The ebook contains a Page Number Grid to assist book clubs and reading groups that include both the ebook and print editions. By clicking on a number in the grid, the reader can correlate the ebook location with the page number in the print book.
Helping people who hurt
with symptoms and pain
(that doctors can''t explain)