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It is just as if the retained or dammed up contents were filtering through the skin


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C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To Elined Kotschnig

Dear Mrs. Kotschnig, 18 February 1941

Please don’t believe one moment that I have less to do on account of the war.

I only have less foreigners, but otherwise it’s all the same as before.

If you are going to ask me further questions, please have it typewritten, it’s so much easier than handwriting.

Also short and precise questions are much appreciated.

I’m pretty certain that psoriasis is a psychological disease, though I’m not able to establish a specific psychological cause for it.

But I know that if a patient’s psychology becomes cleared up so that he functions as any human being ought to function, then everything comes into the open which has been retained before.

These psychological skin diseases seem to be nothing else than a sort of psychological perspiration.

It is just as if the retained or dammed up contents were filtering through the skin and appearing on the surface, like saltpeter blossoming out of humid walls.

The life of X., as you describe it, is tangibly full of quantities of life not lived, but I must confess that under the circumstances you describe it’s almost impossible to find a way to help her.

As the old doctors assumed that such skin diseases were caused by a so-called dyscrasia-a bad mixture of humours-psychology comes to a very similar result in so far as the general attitude of the patient is more responsible for the ailment than any particular point that might be cleared up or settled by specific advice.

You know how long it takes to change the whole viewpoint of the patient, yet in nearly all neuroses it is almost indispensable that the whole outlook on life undergoes a complete change.

Thus X. would need a complete analysis which surely would be no easy case. . . .

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 294-295.