PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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HEALTH AND DISEASE
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cause are far from rare, as this state cannot be discovered before the anaesthetic is administered.
The endocrine function of the pancreas, or rather of the islands of Langerhans imbedded in it, has recently become well known in connection with diabetes. The pancreatic hormone, insulin, regulates the sugar metabolism, and its deficiency causes the formerly incurable disease. An extremely high sugar content in the blood has pronounced psychological symptoms, often starting with depression and continuing to confusion and disorientation. These facts emphasize the importance of precise chemical balance in the body for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Glandular disfunction, especially of the thyroid, pituitary and sex glands, may cause a lowering of the energy available for adjustive attempts and hence lead to weak and non-adjustive attitudes and behaviour. Equally important are the secondary effects. However, we must be on our guard against explanations of personality traits in terms of glandular secretions. Popular psychologists with an inadequate knowledge of physiology, and physicians who lack a critical attitude, have contributed equally to this misunderstanding.
Among the normal variations of personality traits, the only one that seems to have a probable endocrine basis is that of energy or activity level. Several glandular abnormalities decrease the individual's supply of energy while others raise it unduly. Adjustive ability is affected at either extreme. However, purely psychological causes may have their effect. The apathy characteristic of an extreme withdrawing adjustment may closely resemble that due to the lack of some endocrine secretion. An emotional tension may produce effects that somewhat resemble hyperthyroidism. Endocrinology has made valuable contributions to the study of personality,