Psychogenic dwarfism case study one

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Case Study

Peter Pan author JM Barrie suffered from psychogenic dwarfism.

Many apparent cases of psychogenic dwarfism were apparent in the twentieth century, around the time of World War II. Two orphanages were run in close proximity; one orphanage was run by a woman who did not pay attention to the children and the other was run by a woman who showed the children love and attention. Growth rates at the latter orphanage were higher than at the first, due mainly to how the woman nurtured and nourished the children's need for love and companionship.

Another case is a child who was admitted to a hospital with an extremely low weight. One nurse overtook his care and he began to rapidly gain weight and his growth hormone levels increased while the nurse was over his care. The child was so dependent on the nurse emotionally that when she left, his levels returned to that of what they were when he was admitted to the hospital, and once she returned, they stabilized once more.

When a police raid in 1987 released the children held by an Australian cult known as The Family, one twelve year old girl weighed under 20 kg and was under 120 cm tall. She grew 11 cm in the following year and her growth hormone levels returned to normal.


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