The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands. Its function is to store iodine and produce iodine-containing hormones, which are involved in energy and metabolic processes and are responsible for the normal growth of organs and tissues, bone formation, maturation of the nervous system, and sexual development.
This means that the normal mental and physical development of a person depends on the thyroid gland, as it is responsible for the normal functioning of the immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems, as well as for normal carbohydrate, fat, protein, and energy metabolism.
The main problems associated with the thyroid gland are:
- Hyperthyroidism (excessive gland activity with excessive hormone production and accelerated metabolism) and thyrotoxicosis as a consequence of hyperthyroidism;
- Hypothyroidism (a state of hormone deficiency with energy deficiency and slowed metabolism);
- Euthyroidism (pathological changes in the form of goiter, nodules, hyperplasia).
The causes of thyroid diseases include:
- Disturbances in the immune and endocrine systems;
- Genetic predisposition;
- Infectious and chronic diseases;
- Unbalanced diet;
- Constant psycho-emotional overload;
- Unfavorable environmental conditions;
- Taking certain medications, etc.
Common symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include:
- Increased irritability or apathy;
- Unexplained weight fluctuations;
- Increased sweating;
- Hot flashes or feelings of cold;
- Digestive disorders;
- Menstrual cycle irregularities;
- Elevated blood cholesterol;
- Heart rhythm disturbances;
- Hair loss;
- Trembling of the limbs;
- Pronounced swelling;
- Impaired concentration, etc.
Specific symptoms are also associated with particular thyroid dysfunctions. For example, hyperthyroidism due to an excess of hormones leads to thyrotoxicosis (hormonal poisoning of the body). Indicators of this disorder include increased heart rate, increased appetite with frequent bowel movements (due to accelerated metabolic processes), rapid weight loss with the loss of not only fat but also muscle mass, abdominal pain, enlarged liver size, irritability, and high anxiety, etc.
Sometimes, as a result of thyrotoxicosis, dangerous conditions such as thyroid crises can occur. They can be recognized by a sharp rise in temperature, tachycardia, nausea and vomiting, panic attacks, resulting in a person falling into stupor.
Conversely, hypothyroidism has directly opposite symptoms: worsening of metabolic processes, slowed heartbeat, digestive disorders, lack of appetite with weight gain, deterioration of appearance (condition of skin, nails, hair), decreased overall energy, weakness, apathy, fainting, etc.
Goiter (struma) is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Symptoms include:
- Changes in the appearance of the eyeballs (protrusion);
- Pain and coughing;
- Shortness of breath;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Lack of appetite;
- Weight loss, etc.
Psychosomatics of Thyroid Disorders
The very name of the gland – ‘thyroid gland’ (shield-shaped gland) clearly indicates its main function: protection. But what is this gland meant to protect from? Authors in psychosomatics assert that this gland is meant to protect a person from auto-aggression – aggression directed at oneself. Unfortunately, this occurs often: when a person does not accept themselves as they are (often related to their body), does not love themselves, and even hates themselves. There are other forms of conflict with oneself: inferiority complex, ‘self-devouring.’ All these lead to negative states such as constant stress, nervous breakdowns, depression, hopelessness, etc.
If such states are prolonged, the thyroid begins to signal internal problems with disturbances. However, each person reacts differently to internal problems. It seems that depending on which extreme one chooses – becoming overly active or falling into passivity – they receive one or another disorder of the gland. Hyperthyroidism as an overly active thyroid gland indicates an overly active lifestyle, where a person lives with the necessity to prove or gain attention. As noted by Franz Alexander, this disorder can also be the result of acute emotional conflict or psychological trauma.
The psychosomatics of hypothyroidism explain this ailment as a consequence of passivity: a person wants to be active but cannot due to fear. The insufficient activity of the thyroid indicates that the patient is afraid to manage their own life, lacks independence. It has been found that stress has negative consequences for people with hypothyroidism (but, as it turned out, stress has a therapeutic effect for people with hyperthyroidism).
Metaphysical Causes of Thyroid Problems
Louise Hay claims that the thyroid gland is the most important gland of the human immune system. She identifies the following main negative attitudes leading to thyroid problems: the feeling that life has attacked you; the thought that they are trying to get to me; humiliation: “I have never managed to do what I love. When will it be my turn?”
This author notes that the basis of hyperthyroidism is rage due to feeling useless, and the basis of hypothyroidism is the desire to give up, feelings of hopelessness, oppression. Lise Bourbeau writes that the thyroid gland is associated with the throat center, which is responsible for willpower, the ability to make decisions, firmness of character, developing one’s individuality. Hence, the absence of these qualities leads to the emergence of problems with the gland.
The psychologist also notes that the throat center is considered the gateway to abundance, as when a person lives with their true desires and in harmony with their self, they lack nothing: neither in health, nor in love, nor in happiness, nor in material goods. Lise Bourbeau asserts that this energy center is connected with the center located in the area of the sexual organs, so a problem in one of them leads to problems in the other center. According to this author, hyperthyroidism occurs when a person leads an overly active lifestyle because they believe they must arrange the life of loved ones and only then can they allow themselves a peaceful life. Such a person does not think about their true needs, tries to prove something, is too demanding of themselves and close ones, tries to do everything quickly.
The emergence of hypothyroidism, according to Lise Bourbeau, is connected with the fact that a person is afraid to act, although they say they want to be active. In the psychologist’s opinion, this indicates that they have lost contact with their creative beginning. Such a person thinks that they are not fast and agile enough to achieve success, that they do not have the right to do what they want, that they should not make their demands.
Dr. Luule Viilma believes that the fear of being overwhelmed by life, feelings of guilt, communication problems lead to thyroid problems. V. Sinelnikov asserts that the thyroid gland symbolizes creative self-expression. Hence, problems with this gland indicate problems with a person’s creative self-expression.
The psychological causes of goiter, according to the psychotherapist, are unexpressed negative thoughts and emotions, petty grievances and claims, which “lump” in the throat. Based on practice, the doctor writes that children can also develop goiter if parents exert strong pressure and the child cannot openly express their emotions due to fear of them.
According to Sinelnikov, a thyroid tumor indicates that a person feels strong pressure, believes that they are constantly humiliated, feels like a victim, an unfulfilled personality. Such a person experiences resentment and hatred for what is imposed in life, lives with the feeling of a distorted life.
A. Astrogorskaya believes that the cause of psychosomatic thyroid diseases can be the manifestation of complete defenselessness in situations where others impose something on a person, “take them by the throat” and do not allow them to speak.
Paths to Healing Psychosomatic Thyroid Diseases
Based on the considered psychological reasons, it is possible to find ways to heal psychosomatic diseases of the thyroid. Common to all ailments is the path to restoring harmony with oneself through:
- Accepting yourself as you are;
- Respecting your position and being able to stand your ground;
- Loving and caring for yourself and your body;
- Finding opportunities for your creative realization.
And for each specific ailment, there are recommendations. For example, psychologist Lise Bourbeau suggests ways to neutralize the mental blockage leading to thyroid problems:
- In the case of hyperthyroidism, it is necessary to lead a calmer lifestyle and enjoy life;
- In the case of hypothyroidism, it is important to forgive people who have convinced you that you are unable to achieve success on your own;
- Recognizing your true needs (rather than ignoring them) will allow you to grow spiritually (since the thyroid gland is associated with human growth), live in harmony with yourself, and understand your purpose.
May peace and tranquility reign in your soul!