Diseases and Treatment
If you come from a family with a strong mother and a weaker father, you may risk getting rheumatoid arthritis one day. And if you were reared in a relatively calm and peaceful family you could be headed for an ulcer.
The mental and emotional causes of diseases are only part of why people get sick, but a number of studies indicate that psychological factors - some going back to childhood - have been underrated as reasons for physical diseases.
There is a strong case for the idea that an individual's childhood and emotional state help determine what disease he may contract. Psychiatrists who have studied patients with various diseases, giving them personality tests and extracting detailed family histories, believe they have found that:
- Cancer Patients tend to have had less chaotic childhoods than those who get tuberculosis.
- Victims of ulcerative colitis (an ulcer in the intestines) tend to come from fairly rigid families.
- Some diseases tend to "cluster" in families, which makes them, in a way, "contagious."
- Tuberculosis frequently occurs after a major family disruption, as does leukemia and Hodgkins' disease (cancer in the lymphatic system).
- Diseases frequently follow a family loss with "incomplete mourning.
- Tests have indicated some relationship between coronary illness and the patient's image of his father. Heart patients tend to have had fathers who died earlier than normal, leading them to an intense relationship with their mothers. Heart patients are also achievement oriented. People who fight hard, but without much success, and they strive without joy.
They have often undergone some drastic charges in their lives. They may have disappointing marriages and sex lives, and they are more neurotic, paranoid and anxious than others.
On the other hand, cancer patients are more likely to have had early despair in relation to their parents, to have been thrown on their own under stressful conditions, and to have turned toward themselves with a feeling of helplessness.
Cancer patients remember their parents as being more neglectful, less loving, less protective, less rewarding and more rigid.