Thyroid Body Language #3
Sibling rivalry is associated with hyperthyroidism.
Theodore Lidz (“Emotional Factors in the Etiology of Hyperthyroidism,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Jan.-Feb. 1949) wrote …
“As a group they appear to have been successful rivals with siblings for parental affection. Having at one time felt rejected they pursued this objective as a primary goal and persisted after the other children had become emancipated. They bind the mother to them by being the passive good child who cares for the parent, often sacrificing all other desires to this purpose. They identify with the mother and take on her oversolicitous characteristics in exaggerated and obsessive form. They feel that if they do not give that they cannot be loved. They have avoided rejection in childhood and fear of rejection constitutes the major threat to their security in adult life. They expect and receive the same unswerving fidelity from the children they dominate as they gave to their parent. Without evidence of their own importance to others they feel hopeless and helpless. The children’s attention replaces the needed attention of the parents. Usually the husband is a secondary figure — often selected because he will implement rather than disrupt the bonds with the mother. If he lavishes attention the marriage may work, but infidelity with another woman or his own family is taken as complete rejection. It is the disruption of this pattern of utter dependence upon affection — reawakening old problems of sibling rivalry which have never been resolved through maturation — that appears to precipitate hyperthyroidism.”
Hyperthyroidism can result when the “chronic urge toward maturation” is “neurotically inhibited or is beyond the person’s capability.”
George C. Ham, M.D., Franz Alexander, M.D., & Hugh T. Carmichael, M.D. (“A Psychosomatic Theory of Thyrotoxicosis,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Jan.-Feb. 1951) wrote …
“The specific dynamic pattern in thyrotoxicosis is as follows: Frustration of dependent longings and persistent threats to security (exposure to death and other threatening experiences) in early life —> unsuccessful premature attempts to identify with object of dependent cravings —> continued effort toward premature self-sufficiency and to help others —> failure of strivings for self-sufficiency and taking care of others —> thyrotoxicosis. This continued effort to mature, to grow up and be self-sufficient, is the chronic emotional stimulus which via cortico-thalamic pituitary pathways activates the thyroid for long range effort and leads to clinical thyrotoxicosis.”
(To Be Continued)