At birth, the brain has many inborn factors. But these are constantly being added to or altered by the input from the surrounding environment, via the various sense receptors. Emotions, and tensions and stresses from the environment—such as a family that is constantly feuding and fighting—are similarly transmitted to the subconscious where they are likewise stored. Bit by bit, an individual’s reaction to any situation will be governed by the combined program that the brain’s subconscious computer system holds. It cannot be any other way.

With advancing years, the system tends to attune to situations that are taking place in the surroundings, and learns how to cope with them. But as the input from emotional stresses, frustrations, fights, anxieties and tensions keeps recurring, the reaction often shoots off on an interesting tangent. Instead of passively receiving this material, accepting and storing it all, the mind may suddenly overflow. It’s a bit like a telephone switchboard. As long as the input of calls is normal and steady; the operator can readily cope with the situation, answering each and directing each caller to the number required. But as the board hots up and increasing numbers of lights start flashing, the operator reaches a stage where he simply cannot cope with the massive input. Finally, he might throw up his hands, and run from the board yelling, probably holding his head which by now has a thrashing pain searing through it.

Similarly, as the input to the brain steps up, a stage is easily reached where it cannot cope. Result? Symptoms suddenly loom in some part of the body. It may be a sudden outburst of temper, maybe the sudden development of pains, in the head, abdomen or limbs. It may be a sudden sharp bout of vomiting, or diarrhoea, or the onset of an attack of asthma. Or a young boy may start biting his fingernails, resort to food and overeat, start twitching his face, or have nightmares or night horrors. Blushing, fainting, refusal to eat, rushing headlong into obvious danger and sustaining an accident, are all part of the scene. Infants might develop colic, or hold their breath. The variation is enormous.

Some children will unconsciously channel their tension overflow regularly into the same region. Others get a knot in the stomach, others have sleep disorders. Often it is a recurring pattern for each individual.

Frequently, certain symptoms are related to certain age groups. A list is given at the end of this section setting out the better-known types of disturbance and the age range in which they are most likely to occur. It is not an exact list, and by no means a complete one, but it does give some idea of what parents might expect. They all have the same underlying cause: stress, tension and anxiety.

It is worth noting that children have an enormous capacity for absorbing data. In fact, it is claimed that during the first five years of life more data are absorbed and stored in the brain than during all succeeding years combined. After all, baby starts at zero, and apart from what is naturally programmed into the brain at birth everything else must be learnt; from walking, eating, and performing actions we put down as normal, to everything else.

But children are also frequently a mirror-image of their environment. In short, they tend to reflect what goes on about them, and this includes the actions of their parents. The way those around them behave becomes part of them, for all actions witnessed are also interpreted for storage in their memory system. Therefore, how they will subsequently react to situations is governed by the way in which their parents (and others with whom they have greatest, most intimate and most frequent contact) react. Therefore, infants bred in a family full of obvious stress and with obvious outbursts, will tend to react similarly. If everybody in the family tends to develop aches and pains at every setback, the young child will tend to have that type of personality also. Once established, these patterns will tend to persist throughout life.


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