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Aim: A woman in denial of pregnancy is pregnant but remains unaware of her gravid state. In the case of a false pregnancy; the woman is not pregnant but believes she is and presents signs and symptoms of pregnancy. These syndromes correspond to opposite contradictions that were mainly explored separately. Our aim is to explain them by a common and consistent etiology.
Method: We explore internal conflicts inherited from the evolutionary transition from solitary animals to social species.
Results: The solitary and social characters are contradictory. They induce internal conflicts intrinsic to the human condition. At the reproduction level, those conflicts oppose primitive interests (genes transmission) to social identity ones (to become a parent). Both syndromes are described by powerful identity interests in contradiction with the actual physiological state: i) actual pregnancy but unacceptable motherhood (denial), and ii) imperative motherhood in a non-pregnant woman (false pregnancy). The physiological symptoms results from a temporarily adaptive artifice hiding the internal tension and fulfilling simultaneously (but superficially) the incompatible demands.
Conclusion: The proposed model explains clinical observations satisfactorily. It complies with a huge diversity of causative events for the identity tensions involved as reported in literature. The model also elucidates the temporary adaptive character of those psychosomatic dysfunctions. To explain those syndromes in a rational and understandable way will facilitate health professional information, thus favoring the detection and follow-up of cases. The acceptation of their condition by concerned women will also be made easier.
This is a preprint submission to PeerJ Preprints.
Article en version française / French version of the paper