Hypothyroidism : Let us again create an emergency, a situation demanding decision and action. A burglar is entering the house.
Aunt Martha, the energetic, the aggressive type, whose sympathetic nervous system is the dominant one, leaps out of bed, seizes whatever weapon comes to hand and descends to meet the intruder. Uncle Henry, a parasympathetic type, covers his head with the bedclothes and lets Aunt Martha handle the emergency.
So far so good. If there is a burglar, Aunt Martha's highly energized heart, muscles, and brain have their outlet in action, and Uncle Henry enjoys the protection he craves.
But suppose there is no burglar. Suppose the situation is not such an absurdly simple fiction as we have concocted, but one of those complex, emotion-tangled snarls which form the real pattern of human living.
Suppose that, instead of a burglar, Aunt Martha must face, day in and day out, the truth of her marriage to a timid, indecisive man. Suppose that Uncle Henry must confront through the years his inability to make an outstanding success in business, to achieve the stature of a man in his own and his wife's eyes.