Psychosocial and Somatoform Disorders
On the contribution by Witt et al. (1), I would like to comment that the traumatizing circumstances mentioned, for instance in the parental home, can not only have a pathological psychosocial impact but also cause physical illnesses to a considerable extent, as somatoform reactions.
Taking an intensive anamnesis during 1 to 2 hours, as is common in homeopathy, provides us with a deeper insight into the biographies of our patients than is normally acquired. Here, it is noticeable that, behind numerous illnesses, there are usually more-or-less difficult and adverse experiences in the ancestry. This includes divorce, dealing with unstable, addicted parents, and unrealistic parental expectations, but also violence and abuse. Unresolved family legacies, including flight, displacement, or war guilt, also appear, and the so-called “shadow children”, who largely forgo parental care because of a sick or otherwise problematic sibling, are also affected.
The consequences are of course psychosocial disorders, as mentioned above, which also include feelings of guilt or inferiority complexes. Often, auto-aggressive behavior as well as autoimmune diseases at the physical level are present, as well as sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and chronic headaches. In many cases, we also see painful diseases of the musculoskeletal system, such as fibromyalgia, tendon damage, or arthrosis. The dramas mentioned can also be suspected to underlie some cancers, although the psychologists deny the existence of a cancer personality.
In any case, it is enormous what a variety of damage a childhood can bring about when its carefreeness has been lost, when it has been overloaded with inadequate responsibility (keyword parentification), or when a child has been denied a basic level of acceptance with the resulting loss of basic trust. Building it up is a difficult but essential task if one wants to restore health.
Dr. med. Ernst Trebin
|1.||Witt A, Sachser C, Plener PL, Brähler E, Fegert JM: The prevalence and consequences of adverse childhood experiences in the German population. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 635–4 VOLLTEXT|