The Possible Adverse Psychological Effects of the Adopted Child On the Adoptive Parent's Offspring (Siblings)
Possible Adverse Effects of an Adoptee on the Adoptive Family's Biological Offspring
Fixation on One's Mother
In cases of severe birth trauma, the contemplation by the child of of the mother's death is often phobic in nature, with the child obsessively sharing with his mother and others his anticipatory fear of her death. The distraught feelings from which the child suffers when contemplating its mother's demise sometimes cannot be contained and is compulsively shared with the mother and with others. This is not the operation of the so-called oedipus complex, but is rather emblematic of the strength of unresolved early traumas of the sibling relating to his mother.
Dr. Grof believes the origins of depression are derived from the second phase of his schema of birth stages. His form of regressive therapy, which he calls holotropic breathwork, makes it possible for one to relive the actual feelings and physical sensations of one's birth process. Many claim the earlier one is able to relive these experience, the better the results with the more recent trauma yielding its tenacious hold in the subconscious more readily.
"Many people have to process experiences of near drowning, operations, accidents, and children's diseases, particularly those that were associated with suffocation, such as diphtheria, whooping cough, or aspiration of a foreign object." He admits that this therapy methodology is not currently accepted in mainstream psychiatry, nevertheless, "(w)hen our process of deep experiential self-exploration moves beyond the level of memories from childhood and infancy and reaches back to birth, we start encountering emotions and physical sensations of extreme intensity, often surpassing anything we previously considered humanly possible.
...At this point, the experiences become a strange mixture of the themes of birth and death....We can feel the anxiety, biological fury, physical pain, and suffocation associated with this terrifying event and even accurately recognize the type of anesthesia used when we were born. This is often accompanied by various postures and movements of the head and body that accurately recreate the mechanics of a particular type of delivery. All these details can be confirmed if good birth records or reliable personal witnesses are available." -- S. Grof, M.D., The Future of Psychiatry: Conceptual Challenges to Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy,(article)
--Barbara Findeisen, Foreword in Roy Ridgway and Simon H. House
The Unborn Child, Beginning a Whole Life and Overcoming Problems of Early Origin
Clinical psychologist, Arthur Janov, Ph.D., in his latest book, The Janov Solution (2007), emphasizes the important relationship between depression and birth trauma. His book has seventeen beautifully written case studies of persons who were treated at his therapy center and they form an important and instructive role in pointing out the origins of the person's depressive symptoms. Each is quite different, and yet similar, in illustrating how the foundations of depression were laid down very early in life.
"...by and large, birth trauma and early life experience are the root cause. There are changes in physiology during our life in the womb. The set-points of so many hormones are being established. One may think that such deficiencies are genetic, but there are events that can cause them that are not always obvious. They are only obvious when the patient in therapy descends to the antipodes of the unconscious where the crucial explanation of one's depression lies....A near death trauma experienced during gestation, or at birth, dogs us for the rest of our lives as an imprint held within the brainstem and limbic/feeling centers." (Janov, ibid., pps. 11-12)
The early pains of our past are strung together like knots on a cord. A later hurt, such as jealousy, feelings of being rejected, or feeling a lack of love becomes part and parcel of that universal hurt of our beginnings - even sometimes extending into the process of our gestation. These later hurts/pains of infancy and early childhood provide a pathway or opening to our more severe traumas of which the trauma of our birth is the most common. Janov describes the process in his blog of 3/21/09: "Feeling pain in the present can trigger off related pain going all the way back to the womb. That early pain can join the current feeling and become absorbed into the system, eventually leading to connection and resolution."
Evolution gave us our upright position but in so doing guaranteed that each member of mankind must often suffer the sometimes unbearable pain of his birth with its life changing consequences. This becomes so because, unlike other mammals, it became imperative that we are born before sufficient developmental time has passed. At birth we are still fetuses. More growth and development of our brain would require a larger bony-pelvic opening in the female of our species in order to give birth more easily. But if she would have developed a somewhat larger pelvic opening she would become eviscerated by simple gravity. Because of the inadequate size of women's pelvic opening, unlike other mammals, we are born before we should be and remain extremely dependent for a longer period of time than any other mammals.