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When the soul “quakes.”

At one time I met with a curious clinical case. I had to lead a consultation in which mother and son suffered from obsessive fears for their health and alternately induced one another.

The phenomenon of obsession is determined to be the appearance in the consciousness of a thought, image or some event, not connected at the given moment with the content of the consciousness, and seen by the ailing as emotionally unpleasant. Obsessive fear predominates in the thoughts of the neurotic, generates emotional tension, assists to disadapt a person to his surroundings.

During the conversation, it turned out that the mother of my patient received lengthy treatment from psychiatrists for obsessive fears, while the son grew as a very impressionable, emotional boy. His first obsessive fear appeared after a cancerous swelling. The patient continually checked his body, studied medical literature concerning oncology, was depressed, inhibited. The young man added that the fear arose suddenly, after his mother told him about her old illness.

Then new fears arose in the mother about her health. She decided that she had leukemia, because she felt listless, apathetic. After an oncologist’s checkup they were both found to be healthy and she soon recovered from her imaginary illness, but then became ill of phobias twice more. Once this was connected with the grandmother’s heart attack — and they decided that they suffered from heart ailments. Another time they feared dying in an automobile accident. And this fear arose first in one, and only later in the other.

There are similar cases, when after one member of the family was ill with obsessive fears other household members became ill. S.N. Davidenko wrote about a patient, suffering from a tic and the fear of blushing or sweating. His mother’s sister suffered from an obsession concerning overperspiration, one of her daughters — the fear of blushing, the sister of the patient himself — the fear of heart attack. What possibilities…

A family, which came to me for consultation, was non-believing. When a person does not have faith, there is no fear of God, and instead of them, others may "blossom" — sickly, absurd, obsessive fears. The soul is Christian by nature, therefore, if it exists in a non-spiritual atmosphere, it sorrows and "quakes" for any reason.

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