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Psychiatric Aspects of Constipation (pp. 157-170) $100.00
Authors:  (Alireza Farnam, Department of Psychiatry, Razi Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran)
Abstract:
The dualism of mind and body has been the prevalent idea since the Descartes’ era. Despite numerous evidences against this notion, it has not entirely disappeared yet, continuing to survive in the back of many professionals’ minds. But the main question is: How does mind influence the body? Or how mental and emotional processes affect human body’s functions?
It has been accepted that mind exerts influence upon body via three main pathways: (1) The Autonomic system, (2) the hypothalamic–pituitary–cortical axis, and (3) the immune system. Through these systems, mind can cause functional disorders or aggravate the preexisting internal organ disorders.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract seems to be one of the most affected internal organs by the central nervous system (CNS). There are two major explanations for this fact: First, a structural contiguity exists between hypothalamus and the limbic system, i.e. center for emotions; and second, many GI hormones and neurotransmitters are also neurotransmitters in the CNS. The close relationship between the GI tract and the psyche was affirmed strongly with a psychoanalytical approach as well. According to Freud, two zones of psychosexual growth belong to the GI tract: oral and anal.
Oral stage is the earliest stage of psychosexual development. It extends from birth to 18 months. During this period, the main route of the child’s contact with the world is through mouth and related organs (like tongue, lips and others). The child learns that he can gain relaxation and comfort through stimulation of this zone. According to Freud, those who get fixated in this stage, in later years, resort to oral activities like eating, drinking, smoking and talking, whenever they feel psychic tensions. 


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Psychiatric Aspects of Constipation (pp. 157-170)