Thursday, 25 June 2009

Does illness help form our likes and dislikes?

I just had an idea but I don't know how to express it. So if you'll bear with me I'll trace back where it came from and then see if I can make any use of it.

Many of us have experienced a time when we're ill and ate a certain food that we liked and ended up disliking the food. I remember eating some dates once around the time I was ill with a stomach bug or something. Ever since then I've not touched a date. They now seem revolting. I had the same experience with a certain brand of cider the first time I got really drunk. Loved the stuff beforehand, can't stand it now.

Just now I started to wonder how much experiences like this may shape us and whether it's worth understanding it a little to learn how to lessen the impact. Ok that's a few assumptions in a short space of time but I could imagine that atleast one or two of my hangups or dislikes could be attributed to this kind of conditioning. If the hangups lead me to avoiding good things like dried fruit or maybe certain vegetables then, over years, it could actually impact my health.

I don't have the time, or backgroun,d right now to go into this but I feel this idea may have legs and atleast explain, atleast in part, why we all have things we dislike or avoid that could actually help us in our daily lives.

2 comments:

jane said...

During a recent illness I developed, right out of the blue, a taste for chilli. I think perhaps there was something in it that my body needed to heal. Having never been a big chilli eater before, I've spent the last six months using it on everything. Chilli chocolate in place of dessert, chill and coriander in my salad dressing, chilli nachos for a snack. Very strange.

colchambers said...

Good point. I'd been focusing on dislikes mainly but when we associate something with healing us then we often develop a strong affinity for it. I feel there are lots of times that's happened to me but I can't remember them right now.

This kind of implies that with illness being a significant and often unpleasant event. If we think something brings on illness or cures it we form a strong like or dislike to it accordingly.

It probably wouldn't occur in all situations but when it does occur it would create a strong reaction.

Maybe that's how people develop a phobia of cotton wool. I've got no evidence to back this up. Just makes sense that cotton wool is used to treat injuries. If you associated cotton wool with a lot of pain and trauma you might then become scared of cotton wool. You might however not actually realise that the two are linked though. Just a thought.