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Psychogenic Dyspnea in Children: A Case Study on the Importance of Understanding a Child’s Personality and Life Situation

  • Post category:Disorders
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Psychogenic Respiratory Disorders in Children: A Psychosomatic Perspective

In older children, psychogenic respiratory disorders occur several times, which are more common in adults. It is the patient’s feeling that something is squeezing in his throat, that something is pressing on his chest, that he is suffocating, that he cannot breathe freely. Such psychogenic dyspnea has no specific causes. Therefore, they can be discovered only by a detailed analysis of the child’s personality, ie by getting to know the entire patient’s life situation. In any case, this is a child who does not constantly suffer from a problem that he does not know how to solve. With his symptom, the child symbolically tells his surroundings that something is oppressing him, suffocating him and not letting him breathe in the psychological sense of the word.

The Impact of Parental Authority on Child’s Emotional Conflict and Neurotic Disorders

David is an intelligent boy, but too quiet and withdrawn. At the beginning of his schooling, he was an excellent student, but gradually his success in school declined and now, in the 7th grade of primary school, he has 4 negative grades in the semester. His parents are therefore becoming stricter with him; especially his mother often scolds him, reproaches him for poor grades, and annoys him with endless sermons. Lately, David has been complaining of an occasional feeling of tightness in his throat and suffocation. He was therefore examined by a doctor, but no diseased changes were found in the boy’s body. The feeling of suffocation still bothers him, more often at home than at school; it intensifies when the conflict with the parents, who did not notice that the boy has had great difficulty in mastering reading since the beginning of school, intensifies. At first, David was helped by high intelligence to hide his dyslexia, but the more he had to read, the more it came to light. She began to torment him like a sea that is increasingly taking away his self-confidence. David became entangled in an emotional conflict between his ambition and the feeling of immaturity for school. An expression of this are his neurotic disorders supported by parental authority.

From Dyslexia to Psychological Distress: A Case Study of David

We subjected him to systematic reading practice and psychotherapy, and his parents to counseling. By the end of the school year, the boy had recovered so much that he had successfully completed class, and his sense of suffocation had disappeared.

Psychotherapy and Systematic Practice as Effective Interventions for Psychogenic Dyspnea in Children

This case study demonstrates the importance of recognizing the impact of parental authority on a child’s emotional conflict and neurotic disorders. The feeling of suffocation and tightness in David’s throat was caused by the psychological distress of dealing with undiagnosed dyslexia, and exacerbated by parental pressure. Systematic reading practice and psychotherapy, combined with counseling for David’s parents, proved effective in treating his psychogenic dyspnea and improving his academic performance. This highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach that takes into account the child’s personality and life situation in addressing psychosomatic disorders in children.