Dr. Kazunari Fukushima
(Physician specializing in psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine)
When my mindset changed, the door to my patients’ heart, which had been tightly locked, opened
At present mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts are considered to be illnesses of our era. Many patients and their families suffer from these illnesses and often physicians who treat them burn out. In the past, seeing my patients show little sign of improvement no matter what kind of treatment I provided, I lost hope and at times felt so pressured that I even had panic attacks myself.
I cannot forget the time when I met Takahashi Sensei under these circumstances. The refined theory of the Study of the Soul, which looks on human beings as souls, astonished and inspired me and I was moved by watching Sensei interact with people with deep reverence. What was of great importance for me as I began studying the Study of the Soul, was being able to grasp my mind by means of the Reflection and Insight Sheet, (Shikan Sheet), which consists of exercises for looking into one’s mind and connecting it to reality. This path was new to me and led me who had looked on the humans mind as a physician of psychosomatic medicine, to making many discoveries.
The Study of the Soul opened my eyes to the relationship between mind and reality. I realized that I had been regarding patients from the perspective of “a person who cures.” I also found that I was not able to feel the pain even of the patients who were in the midst of suffering as keenly as my own saying to myself, “Now that I have done all that I can, all I can do is wait.” I came to understand that it was my mindset of this kind that was creating distance between me and my patients and delaying their recovery.
From that point, my path of transforming my inner world began. When I started to interact with my patients as one human being, rather than as a physician, perceiving and responding to their pain more earnestly, the door to my patients’ hearts, which had been tightly locked, opened. This led to improvement in their medical conditions, which had never improved before. Furthermore, the bonds between patients and their families were restored, precisely the reality I was hoping to create.
When I was young I was not able to achieve peace of mind and suffered because of the broken bond with my family. Now I realize that this process was also the path whereby I could restore my real self.Now I have confidence that all patients, regardless of the severity of their illnesses, are able to restore their “real self.”