Parathyroidism: symptoms and causes of affective impairment

The psychopathology of affectivity it is a specific field of psychology which encompasses the various disorders or alterations of affectivity, that is to say those which are related to feelings, emotions and affections.

Today we are going to talk about a specific modification: parathymia. How do you explain a person who behaves incongruously to the situation they are going through? Did you see someone laugh at a funeral? What happens when these experiences become pathological? This is what it is, and in this article we will analyze it in detail.

    Human emotions

    Emotions allow us to adapt to the world we live in, As well as in our inner world. Along with them, feelings and ailments constitute phenomena and tools of emotional management. These, in turn, influence our perception and our life experience.

    Emotions are a channel of expression: their good management contributes to the personal well-being of each and predisposes to good mental health. Bad management or repression, on the other hand, it can cause discomfort and psychological suffering to the person.

    Affective psychology encompasses these concepts. The psychopathology of affectivity, in turn, would include the alterations that occur in the emotional, affective and sentimental sphere of the person.

    Psychology of affectivity

    Affection or emotional life encompasses all of the experiences that define and limit a person’s emotional life. It is a set of trends and states that the person experiences in their own way and immediately.

    Affection influences our personality and in our behavior, especially in its expression. It is usually distributed as dichotomous powders in the form of pleasure / pain or joy / sadness. Therefore, as we will see, the effects of parathyroidism extend to many areas of life.

    That said, let’s get to know the different concepts that cover the psychology of affectivity:


    Emotions are internal affective responses that they may be accompanied by somatic symptoms and that they appear in response to an experience. This experience can be internal (a thought, a sensation …) or external (an event).

    Emotions maintain or end the triggering event. Some of them are fear, joy, anger …


    feelings they are the subjective experience of emotion. They are more long-lasting and less intense than emotions and, unlike them, are not accompanied by somatic or vegetative symptoms. For example, the feelings are love, jealousy or pride.

    Mood or mood

    It is the basal state of the person, of prolonged duration, stable and persistent, Which accompanies the experience of life. Unlike the previous ones, it sets in more slowly and gradually.

    It is a willingness to react with a certain type of emotion to different events. It can be reactive to a situation (external or internal) or appear spontaneously. For example, it would be the sad and happy mood …

    Parathyroidism: affective alterations

    There are a variety of alterations affecting the spheres discussed. these they can appear in isolation in the individual, or in a more global psychopathological picture (For example schizophrenia, mania, depression …). In the affective and emotional sphere, we find parathyroidism.

    Paratyma, also called ideo-affective discordance or incongruity, Is the lack of relationship between what he expresses verbally and the emotional experience. In other words, the subject experiences inadequate or incongruous feelings because of the situation he is going through or because of the thoughts he is having.

    Thus, it is a discordant reaction of affectivity: for example, showing irritation in happy situations, laughing in sad situations (For example at a funeral) or cry in front of a funny thought. This mismatch may include quantitative (intensity) or qualitative (tone, shade or quality) aspects.

    Parathyroidism occurs frequently in schizophrenia (especially with negative and defective symptoms), organic brain disorders, and primary affective disorders (although in the latter exceptionally).

      Types of parathymia

      There are, in addition to the commented paratyma, two other types, although with quite different meanings from the original paratyma. This is positive parathyroidism and negative parathyroidism.

      A positive parathyroid or pathological joy appears when the subject is held in a characteristic euphoric and hyperactive state. It is manifested by manic episodes of bipolar disorder or by organic images (death).

      In negative parathymia or pathological sadness, the exact opposite occurs; the object he feels particularly sad or anxious. It appears especially in depressive episodes.

      Their differences with emotional indifference

      Parathyroidism should not be confused with another affective alteration: coldness or emotional indifference. It consists of the absence or loss of the ability to present emotional responses, Or the inability to modulate and be flexible with emotions.

      Affectionately indifferent people are cold, unresponsive, and unable to engage emotionally with other people or in their actions.

      Like parathyroidism, this disorder appears in residual schizophrenia and organic brain disorders. On the other hand, it can also manifest itself in certain personality disorders.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Buela-Casal, G., Cavall, V., and Carrobles, JA (2002): Manual of Psychopathology and Psychiatric Disorders. 21st century. Madrid.
      • Belloch, A .; Sandín, B. and Ramos, F. (2008). Manual of psychopathology. Volume I, Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

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