Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Hormonal imbalance due to fear?
Saturday August 25, 2007

Dear Alice, I read a book by Sue Gerhardt called ' Why Love Matters'. In it she writes about the link between mis-treatment as a child and later health problems in adulthood. She talks of how the specifics of the childhood environment produce characteristic illnesses. For example; children who have lived with fear and unpredictability develop a cortisol imbalance. This can be linked to chronic auto-immune diseases, such as arthritis.
I believe the root of my arthritis may lie in a long term adaptation to high cortisol levels.
Just as diabetes 2 is a result of an over-production of insulin causing the cells to become insensitive to insulin; could it not be the same with cortisol? How come arthritic symptoms abate when exposed to high cortisol?
I feel that my body lacks the ability to dampen down inflammation somehow.
I also believe the body is a work in process and that these things are not fixed. I had hay-fever from the age of 13 until 49 and then it just disappeared.
What do you think, could I be right?
Thank you, J.

AM: There is no any doubt to me that children who have lived with fear and unpredictability develop a cortisol imbalance. Children who are spanked in the first years of their lives develop MANY kinds of imbalances. But usually doctors try to combat this imbalance with drugs as Ritalin and others that are not at all harmless. Even if the parents of grown-up children could change and become loving, this would not change the mal-functioning of the body because the symptoms (like arthritis) keep imprisoned the never expressed rage of the once mistreated child. Only by experiencing these emotions and understanding the justified rage can we get away from the terrible pain. Medication "helps" only for a while and usually hinders the feelings to appear and the understanding to develop.

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