To Linda Veladini
Dear Fraulein Veladini, 25 April 1952
I would gladly corroborate your interesting observations if I were in a position to do so.
But I lack the necessary experience in this specialized field.
In my practice I have had only one case of infantile paralysis.
It was that of a young man, who fell ill with severe poliomyelitis at the age of 4.
He still remembered an impressive dream he had shortly before the onset of the illness.
He dreamt he was sitting at his mother’s feet, playing with some toy or other.
Suddenly a wasp flew out of the mother, which stung him, and immediately he felt his whole body poisoned and awoke in terror.
I knew the patient’s mother and she was a very domineering personality and a burden to her children.
An elder brother of the patient had a formidable mother complex which overshadowed his later life.
The situation was entirely in keeping with your view that the suppression of the child’s individuality under the parental influence can at least be a psychic precondition for a paralytic illness.
However, we do not have sufficient documentary evidence at present to conclude that infantile paralysis is psychogenic.
We only know that certain psychic disturbances cause a lowering of the body’s resistance and hence a proneness to infections.
We know this quite definitely in the case of tonsilitis, and in the case of tuberculosis there is at least a well-founded suspicion.
I have treated several cases of chronic pulmonary tuberculosis for psychic disturbances and observed, coincidentally so
to speak, a complete cure of the tuberculosis without specialist treatment.
For this reason I have long advocated that sanatoria for consumptives be staffed with psychologically trained doctors because these places positively swarm with neuroses.
At all events, psychic treatment would give substantial support to the specific treatment of tuberculosis.
Hoping that these remarks may be of some service to you,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 57-58.