Sickness Due to Too Much Self


The time is now ripe for us to study the question of proneness to disease in relation to the development of human personality and to the individual’s awareness of it. By this latter phrase I am referring to the individual’s subjective assessment of his own potentialities and destiny. The social selves, the facades we display to the world are sufficiently varied in all conscience but their variety is negligible compared to the infinite diversity of human aims which, often undisclosed to the world, are intricately woven into the structure of personality. Between the happy, but it is to be feared inconsiderable, handful of individuals blessed with a relative degree of unselfconsciousness, and the driving but perpetually frustrated creatures aware of themselves as sharply demarcated entities at war with the world, there are innumerably gradations in the degree to which the individual is aware of his own ‘apartness’. It is well at this juncture to stress the degree to which individuals vary in what one might call selfconsciousness in the strictest sense of the term because, as we shall see later, there is a close relationship between this particular awareness, this unique reaction to one’s own destiny, and liability to disease.


 – Arthur Guirdham. (1957. p 20) A Theory of Disease. George Allen and Unwin






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