The case of "River" (Anxiety, depression, Mind induced paralysis)

Casebook of Biblical Psychiatry © Version 7 (CBP-7)

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The case of

(Mind induced paralysis)

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The case of "River"


Biopsychiatric labels DSM-5

Anxiety, depression, Conversion disorder


Checklist Behaviours DSM-7

Anxiety, depression, lack of self-forgiveness


Insights MMPI-7


Quick Pick EDS-7.1

Sources of personal trauma: I experienced Death


Self-disablement EDS-7.2

Made herself lame in her right arm and hand making it difficult for her to function.


Chemical imbalance EDS-7.3

No. Never ingested opium. Although before the era of prescribed psychiatric drugs (1950's) which create chemical imbalances in the brain, at this point in history Opium was the only drug widely used to create chemical imbalances in the brains of the insane.


Benefits EDS-7.4

Sympathy: EDS-7.4.5

Self-punishment for personal failures or to ease a guilty conscience: EDS-7.4.12


Monetary EDS-7.5



Annoyance Scale EDS-7.6



Diagnostic Laws EDS-7.7

Law of Narcissistic Behaviour Choice (NBC) EDS-7.7.1.NBC

Law of Derivative Personal Benefit (DPB) EDS-7.7.2.DPB


Determine the Problem

Self-punishment for her responsibility in the death of her son


Ask a Child

She is very sad her son died. EDS-7.7.12.PMO


5 years later EDS-7.7.LPT




The case of "River"

Robert Boyle, 1716 AD. A mother is paralyzed in her right arm and hand after her son drowns due to her neglect.


Among other Instances I have met with, that shew the great Power which sudden Passions of the mind may have upon the Body, I remember that a Woman of middle Age, complain'd sadly to me of the mischief, a Fright had done her; for she related to me, that having taken along with her to a Meadow by a River-side, a little Boy that she was dotingly fond of, whilst she was busie about the work she came thither for, the Child stole away from her, and went along the Bank, to delight himself with the View of the Stream ; but being heedless, it seems by Circumstances, that he set his Foot upon some piece of Ground that the Water had made hollow; upon which account, the Earth failing under the weight of the Boy's body pressing it, that, and he fell together into the River : In the mean time the poor Mother casually missing her Child, hastily cast her Eyes towards the brink of the River, and not being able to see him there, she presently concluded him to be Drown'd, and was struck with so much horror upon the sudden accident that tore from her a favorite Son, that among other mischiefs, she fell into a Dead Palsy of her right Arm and Hand, which continu'd with her in spight of what she had done to remove it, till the time she complain'd of it to me, who had not opportunity to know what became of her afterwards. (Experimenta & Observationes Physicae, Robert Boyle, 1691 AD)



In 1716 AD, Robert Boyle (inventor of Boyle's Law of the relationship between pressure and volume of gas), gave two case histories of hypochondria which he correctly labels as "emotional shock". He clearly shows that the cause is purely of mind affecting the body: "Instances I have met with, that shew the great Power which sudden Passions of the mind may have upon the Body". This mother became immediately paralyzed when her young son drowned in a river while under her supervision. The paralysis persisted for a long time and there is no sign that she ever regained use of her right arm and hand. This was obviously a form of self-hating, like cutters, who punish themselves for their own mistakes. She was motivated to fabricate the paralysis as a smokescreen decoy to attract attention away from her mistake and garner sympathy instead. Losing the use of your right arm is a serious disability and would allow her to escape many of life's duties.


Benefits from behaviour: This illustrates the Law of Narcissistic Behaviour Choice (NBC) EDS-7.7.1.NBC  

  1. Sympathy: EDS-7.4.5. She felt responsible for the death of her son. No doubt other's would agree she should have kept a closer eye on her son as a parent. The paralysis of her right arm and hand, as a result of the death of her son, would extend the time people offer sympathy beyond the normal mourning period.

2.      Self-punishment for personal failures or to ease a guilty conscience: EDS-7.4.12. Since her paralysis was purely a choice she had made, with no medical etiology, it was a form of self-punishment.


Diagnostic laws that are seen illustrated in the case of "River":

  1. She had calculated that the cost of choosing to be paralyzed in her right arm, was worth the benefit she gained of sympathy and the emotional relief gained through self-punishment. This illustrates the Law of Derivative Personal Benefit (DPB) EDS-7.7.2.DPB 

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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