Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience

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Mental and physiological structures and mechanisms of overprotection in the aetiology of autoimmune disease

International Conference on Alzheimer and Dementia
July 12, 2021 | Webinar

Anat Ben Salmon

Rotem Medical Imaging, Israel

Scientific Tracks Abstracts: ipjnn


Despite the prevalence of autoimmune diseases, and the variety of proposedfactors involved in their aetiology, the exact cause of autoimmune disorders isstill unknown (Pisetsky, D. S. M., 2020). As psychotherapists specializing inwork with parents for the last sixteen years, and a physician who has workedwith adolescents for seventeen years, in this presentation, we propose toconsider the analogy between the dynamics of the overprotective family andthose of the overactive immune system in autoimmune disorders, and that theyare both manifestations of the structures and mechanisms of narcissistic anxiety.The impact of overprotective family dynamics upon the emotional developmentof a child had been extensively discussed (e.g. Spada, M. M., Caselli, G.,Manfredi, C., et. al., 2011). The overprotective parenting style is characterised by parents who presentguarding behaviour that is excessive considering the child’s developmental stageand the actual risk level in their environment. Overprotective parents tend toobsess over their children’s physical and emotional safety, at a level that exceedsthe actual level of risk (Clarke, K., Cooper, P., & Creswell, C., 2013).Analogous to this, autoimmune diseases are clinical manifestations of aberrantand "hyper-reactive" autoimmune responses to self-antigens of normal bodilyconstituents leading to inflammation, cell injury, or a functional disturbance(Pisetsky, D. S. M., 2020). Medical literature has suggested the correlationbetween emotional disorders and a variety of autoimmune diseases (Song, et. al.,2018).This presentation suggests to consider that high levels of anxiety underlie bothoverprotective manifestations. Instead of functioning as defence mechanismsaimed to protect the self, they are diverted into a direct attack on it.