Our secret medical history

by Matthew Brown, Registered Nurse, Perth, Western Australia

Most of us have seen a GP or been to hospital at some stage, and have had our medical history taken. The usual questions cover a range of illnesses that include most parts of our body. Commonly asked questions are related to blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart and lungs, any previous surgery and what type of medication we are on, which may provide a clue to anything else we may have ‘forgotten’ to mention!

I call this the public medical history, the one that is carried around like a backpack, that informs all health professionals just what type of body they are dealing with. These are the problems that are often managed with medication, and the more you are on, and the higher the dose, the greater your problems are.

But there is another history we keep hidden. This secret history is the one we keep really personal and generally don’t share with anyone, or maybe only one other person. These secrets are the vital evidence and the foundation of our ill ways, ill health and poor decisions. They may at first seem irrelevant or even minor, but they are crucial to understanding the person as a whole, and hold the clues to the kinds of events, illnesses or injuries that happen to people.

Those things that we keep secret are the things that we find embarrassing or personal; that we would never share with another. They could range from anything from early childhood all the way through life. There is often a hurt of some kind that holds us back. It may prevent us from either admitting it is there, or we may find a way to completely ignore the feeling associated with it.

They could be things like how shy you are, or how little confidence you may have. It may be that you always feel a little anxious or uncomfortable in crowds; that you overeat or maybe feel sad at times, with feelings of loneliness, or even that you get angry quite quickly. It may be that you find it difficult to sleep at night or hard to get to sleep.

Whatever they are, we keep them secret or we consider them irrelevant. Could it be out of fear of what others may say or think about us? However we soldier on, as we try to put on a public face that all is well.

Living with these fears or anxieties disrupts the natural harmony in the body. Our heart rate is affected, and our blood pressure may increase. Not to forget our nervous system that is always ‘on’, which causes stress and tension in our muscles, our connective tissue and also on the endocrine system. So we can see how issues we consider minor, irrelevant or embarrassing affect the whole body. But this is not seen as a medical issue, because it hasn’t presented itself in the body as an illness yet, even though it is actually already there. It is a medical issue and it is the genesis of sickness. How this expresses itself in the body is characterised by the individual and their own life choices and make-up. It could end up being diabetes, heart disease or cancer, or any number of illnesses, addictions, or relationship problems.

This is what creates our public medical history, the one that is eventually expressed as illness. Why wait until it’s too late?

Most of us are functioning people, we have a job, work, go out, share meals and have friends, so this private history is kept simmering in the background with a range of coping mechanisms that get us through life. We all have our way of ‘getting through the day’ and our body does try to rebalance and compensate, but it can’t do this forever.

As an example, let’s say someone was living with anxiousness, just enough that it is brushed off as maybe being nervous or shy, but ‘normal’ for that person. This subtle wash of feeling that is always there, affects every decision that is made. Often other people know some of these ways, but just accept that it is just the way people are and so don’t question it.

Other examples are the everyday things we live with, like

  • not having a loving relationship with our wife, husband or partner
  • getting frustrated easily
  • getting angry at the cars that speed
  • secretly gambling or watching porn without our partner knowing
  • daydreaming about meeting another man/woman
  • not really feeling motivated to do anything
  • constantly having to keep busy
  • moving from relationship to relationship or not wanting to be in a relationship
  • getting bored with our job
  • not getting on with work colleagues.

These are all clues to something that is brewing in the background.

Where to from here? We avoid, hide or ignore the signs and symptoms and keep them secret.

As a result we binge drink, smoke, overeat, sleep around, fight, overwork or don’t work, exercise or play sport to name a few, all to not feel the effects of not addressing the secret history. 

The truth is, we compromise our body and our lives through the choices and decisions we make, which reverberate in a harmful way through our body.

We generally don’t share many of these secrets with our GP, or anyone for that matter, but they are essential in being able to understand us. Our lifestyle and the way we live each day are the precursors that affect our public medical issues and highlight the consequences of this private medical history we keep so secret.

This secret history will cause the lifestyle choices that we make, to hide or suppress these feelings and fears that mould our life. How do we hide and suppress these feelings? We numb ourselves with foods, drinks and all manner of behaviours, and sugar coat our life to show that everything is ‘good’, whilst every choice is tainted and loaded with the energy of hiding and suppressing this secret history.

This secret history contains the gold nuggets that have the potential to allow a person to truly live, and this is where we really need to start if we are to seek true healing. If we wait until it manifests into a physical issue, it is then so much harder to treat. But even before this, a willingness to look at this secret history of ours can offer us the opportunity to see and deal with our old hurts and open us up to the possibility of living a truly healthy and joyful life.


Read more:

  1. We use medicine but don’t live it.
  2. The Roseto Effect – a lesson on the true cause of heart disease



860 thoughts on “Our secret medical history

  1. This is such a great conversation to have because it gives us an opportunity to stop and consider if there are any secrets about our health that we keep to ourselves.

  2. Matthew reading this about the ‘secret history’ being pertinent to our health and wellbeing, is of importance. Our lifestyle choices leads us to the diseases and illness, and many a times we seldom want to look at it let alone admit it to other people. This part is the core but also the answer to how we have become who we are.

    And I agree when we look at our past hurts, these is where the true healing can begin.

  3. Because this secret history can be our innermost thoughts, we can often think it doesn’t affect us, but everything affects us and these thoughts can be insidiously harmful.

    1. Gill, I’m becoming to be aware that nothing just happens, and everything is everything. Every thought, movement, feelings has a ripple effect somewhere else. There is a huge responsibility in the way we live, as a collective we need to be the part for the others.

  4. Compromise is the perfect word to describe how we ignore and normalize what you call our ‘secret medical history’ and I agree, the fact that we are needing those behaviours to function in life reveals that we are greater than we are making ourselves to be.

  5. It makes sense that emotions and reactions have an impact on our body that disrupt the natural harmony we are designed to be in, and we are often quick to dismiss and not take more seriously, or in truth not take responsibility for, in our unwillingness to address the deeper rooted hurt. Yet in making this hurt appear bigger than the power we have in connection with our essence, we cap ourselves and compromise our body that eventually leads to the body having to correct the imbalance and release what does not belong.

  6. Great to read this again, it connects up the dots from how we feel in life, the subsequent choices we make, and the outcomes that can present in injuries and health conditions. To me it’s an holistic approach to our health and wellbeing.

  7. It is great to acknowledge that living with fears and anxieties can disrupt the natural harmony of one’s body in the way that you have done so, without any imposing concepts about what Harmony in the body is and how this should be obtained.

  8. “This secret history” is there to be felt even it is not seen on the surface, rather like when you go to the beach and see the waves rolling into shore but there is a rip tide under the surface of the waves.

  9. This is so relevant and so hidden, that we have our ‘tics’ say, the ways we are and we create behaviours to manage them and in doing so we set ourselves on the path to the physical symptoms we later may have. Life is indeed medicine and by being willing to unpick and see our ways and understand that they are not us and be willing to address the hurts beneath those ways we open ourselves up to feeling and being our natural selves.

  10. Whenever I have been willing to be honest about how my life really is, things have always got better.

  11. There are so many major disturbances in our health that to consider looking into the “minor” ones just seems worthless, but if we flip it around and start paying more attention to the little dis-eased moments, we can begin to take better care of ourselves and make major changes to our health.

  12. “These secrets are the vital evidence and the foundation of our ill ways, ill health and poor decisions.” So true, for if we don’t ever share or voice what we feel and hold deep within us, we will never truly change our ways or heal our past hurts which are what cause so many of our illness and diseases that we see today.

    1. Is it possible Sandra that we are so used to putting up with something that we do not even consider it as a health issue? I work as a volunteer at the local hospital and have noticed that elderly women especially say they didn’t want to worry anyone one or didn’t consider something to be ‘that bad’ until they ended up in hospital.

  13. I know so well how those ‘minor’ seemingly non-medical issues affect my well-being, making me feel somehow dented inside, that I am not fully myself, that I have allowed in something that doesn’t belong – definitely an onset of dis-ease.

  14. Standardisation leads to a lack of reflection, or more aptly, a lack of reflection to pull up rather than reflect that everything is ‘okay’.

  15. I remember when I was in hospital one time, and all the consultant wanted to know about me was how my injury had happened and what level of physical pain I was in. He didn’t want to know anything about ‘me’. I found it really hard to understand at the time as I knew there were many factors that had led to the injury I had ended up in hospital with. It will be a great day when this deeper level of understanding is taken into account and embraced with every illness or injury that presents in any hospital or doctors surgery.

  16. There is so much more to any illness we may have than just the physical symptoms. Roll on the day when western medicine embraces what Universal Medicine is already doing and the two are combined in order to read the whole person and get a much deeper understanding of what is really going on and offer true healing to all.

  17. If we open up to our ability to feel that secret history isn’t secret at all. It’s there in the attitude and tone of a person. A heaviness, mediocre and burdensome approach to life as they struggle to keep the mask of “I’m alright” on. When we feel this we see behind the mask and others feel it. It’s very powerful and healing to be seen without the mask as it offers space to not keep maintaining its position.

  18. The more we are willing to let go of the false truths we have accepted in our separation from knowing ourselves, the deeper we heal and naturally return to our true way of being.

  19. When the little clues the body presents are ignored over and over- that which is brewing’ behind the scenes’ is what eventually manifests in the physical body as various forms of illness and disease. It would appear that our choices play a big part in our true health and wellbeing and a wise choice to begin examining ill choices to work with and honour the body as never before.
    “These are all clues to something that is brewing in the background.”

  20. What an AMAZING nurse you are. It is interesting as the ‘secret’ history affects or even manifests the public medical history … in that hurts etc we don’t heal and hold onto affect our body, organs and so therefore our overall health. So I guess what this shows is just how vital it is not to hold onto anything and as a healthcare professional to be willing to see more than what is presented to us physically but to understand everything energetically as well. .. which is why you are such an AMAZING nurse as you are already doing this ✨

  21. Your wonderful blog came to mind this morning, Matthew, when a friend was sharing that her relationship with her doctor was becoming a little strained, so much so she felt she wasn’t being listened to. But yesterday she finally decided to share a little of her life, her ‘secret medical history’, and the outcome surprised her as the doctor seemed to finally understand that there was so much more to her patient than what she had previously known. I know time constraints limit what we can share with our medical professionals but if there is anything we feel is important to our current health issues we simply can’t hold back.

    1. Ingrid this ‘holding ourselves back’ from doctors is something that we all do with pretty much everybody, even our partners. I would have argued till I was blue in the face that I didn’t hold myself back, that I revealed all of me to people but was shocked to find out that the opposite was true. What I offered others was a teeny weeny sanitised snippet of me, whilst simultaneously holding back all that was real about me. Realising this was the most crucial step in changing it, followed by actively letting the real me be felt by me and then allowing the me that is real to flow on to others.

  22. Even though ill health is deemed to be more than physical, in health care we really only look at the obvious things that affect our health. We are really not asked to delve any deeper and ask ourselves why or what is going on? When we just stay on the surface we rarely address anything, for things to return for us to deal with all over again. Underneath all of this is knowing that there is no need ever to be perfect and also knowing that we are doing nothing wrong if we don’t have the perfect health. But our healthcare is not about this. By delving deeper and being willing to see the underneath causes, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to release this, so that there is a greater opportunity to see the beauty that we may have tucked away.

  23. This article shows a clear understanding of cause and effect; the underlying cause of illness and disease.

  24. It is the minor issues we are often quick to dismiss that we need to pay attention to due to the impact on the body longer term. If we were fully conscious of this fact and the consequences of our choices we would not be so quick to dismiss them but look at the underlying issue and let it go.

  25. “Our lifestyle and the way we live each day are the precursors that affect our public medical issues and highlight the consequences of this private medical history we keep so secret…” I wonder, and look forward to a time when a person sees their GP or who presents to hospital with an aliment, that the medical history note taking will include all the hidden aspects that we currently keep private, because at such time, there will be more a general understanding and acceptance energetic medicine and the way it contributes to ill health and disease process on the body.

  26. Everything is hidden in our society so that we can pretend that ‘life is good’ and that ‘ we are progressing’. A great veneer is put out there of the good life. And part of that is our medical history. If the truth were truly known, we would have to say that our lives on earth just do not work. It is not working.

  27. A great point by Matt, showing how important the parts are that we don’t share and how they, at times, can devastate us.

  28. When we hold on to our secrets, we give the secret greater power than ourselves, often because we are ashamed and therefore in order to protect ourselves we think we need to keep the secret at all costs, when we do discover that it is safe to allow the secret out it is as if a ton of weight has been lifted off us, and we then wonder why we kept it secret for so long. The body will always reveal that there is a secret being kept one way or another.

  29. We try to keep this secret history… well secret, but the thing is that the body marks it, and once we have lived it for oh say 10 years, 20 years, 40 years then this pattern of behaviour has to be marked in the body. Overweight, depressed, exhaustion, anxiety. All patterns of living that make up a lot of illness and disease – definitely time we got it out of the closet and started to address it.

    1. Yes, and the earlier we do so, the simpler. The later we do it, the more we notice the change, the difference in well-being, so any time may be a good time.

  30. ‘We numb ourselves with foods, drinks and all manner of behaviours, and sugar coat our life to show that everything is ‘good’, whilst every choice is tainted and loaded with the energy of hiding and suppressing this secret history.’ And this is what we call ‘normal’ because the majority of the people lives this way, it is only when we start to be truly honest with ourselves our secret medical history will no longer be kept secret and the way we make our lifestyle choices can and will be more healthy because of the awareness that is gained.

  31. Looking at your list, I notice how common these things are to many people and how we then accept them as normal and we don’t even bring ourselves to the possibility of looking at them as anomaly that we can actually live without. As well, there are so many things that make us believe we are dealing with them while in fact we are burying them even further. True healing begins with accepting that we are much more than what we have settled for.

  32. I have been sharing parts of my “secret medical history” with several medical professionals over the last couple of years and have experienced varying responses. Some have really listened and appreciated what I have shared and others have reacted in away that had me feeling that what I had shared was a bit ‘airy fairy’ and not what they wanted to hear. My input was definitely not valued in this latter situation. So how wonderful it would be if all medical professionals were trained to truly listen and to honour their patients sharings, as within some of the personal information may just be the key to what is ailing them.

  33. We can support our GP’s and medical specialists by being honest about our secret medical history. That way they can truly support us.

  34. Thank you Matthew for shining a spot light on what constitutes our secret medical history. I was totally unaware of having a secret medical history but from the examples you offered I most certainly have. A big one for me in the past was trying to keep my deep sensitivity under wraps. Now I see my sensitivity as a blessing and my body is loving its new found freedom to express this. I will be pondering further on what other examples of secret medical history are at play in my life.

  35. It is so liberating to have no secrets for they keep us prisoner and inhibit our expression and communication in all relationships.

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