John and Linda Friel in
“Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Familes”:
Our symptoms are born out of emotional denial and they serve to maintain that denial. They are ways that we allow ourselves to live one kind of life while convincing ourselves that we have a very different kind of life.
And while they serve to give us the illusion that we are in control, they are in fact clear indicators that what we have really done is to give up healthy control of our lives to something outside of ourselves. (p. 23)