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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Carl Jung on Emotional Components affecting Bodily Functions

Dr. Evans: An interesting area which is being discussed a lot in the United States today, and I'm sure is of interest to you as well, is that of
psychosomatic medicine, an area dealing with the way in which emotional components of personality can affect bodily functions.

Dr. Jung: As an example of this, I see a lot of astounding cures of tuberculosis—chronic tuberculosis—effected by analysts; people learn to
breathe again.

The understanding of what their complexes were—that has helped them.

Dr. Evans: When did you first become interested in the psychic factors of tuberculosis? Many years ago?

Dr. Jung: I was an analyst to begin with; I was always interested naturally.

Maybe also because I understood so little of it, or more importantly, I noticed that I understood so little.

Dr. Evans: To expand on my earlier question, we are right now becoming more and more interested in the United States in how emotional,
unconscious personality factors can actually have an effect on the body. Of course, the classic example in the literature is the peptic ulcer. It is
believed that this is a case where emotional factors have actually created pathology.

These ideas have been extended into many other areas.

It is felt, for example, that where there already is pathology, these emotional factors can intensify it.

Or sometimes there may be actual symptoms or fears concerning pathology when no true pathology exists, such as in cases of hysteria or hypochondriasis.

For example, many physicians in America say that 60 to 70 percent of their patients do not have anything really physically wrong with them, but
they instead have disorders of psychosomatic origin.

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is well known—since more than fifty years.

The question is how to cure them. ~Carl Jung, Evans Conversations, Pages 34-35.