NAPERVILLE, IL – Sources out of the Chicago suburb are reporting local paraplegic Anne Silverston, age 8, has developed a rare condition known in the psychological community as limb envy towards her father, Joseph.
“This is a rare disease, but not entirely unheard of,” commented Dr. Daniel Alberts, a prominent researcher in the field of limb envy who was tasked by Anne’s parents to diagnose her. “It’s truly a fascinating thing. Freud noted the existence of this phenomenon over a hundred years ago, but there is still much that we do not know. Hopefully, Anne can provide us with valuable information about this unique affliction.”
Alberts says that limb envy often occurs when a child is missing control over their legs or lower body, whether due to a birth defect or accident. The child will develop a sense of jealousy towards his or her father. It is hypothesized that limb envy does not occur in the unlikely event that the father is also paraplegic, but Alberts has been unable to directly observe such a case.
Silverston’s mother, Joanne, was the first to detect the condition. “I started to notice the way Anne looked at [Joseph], more specifically, his legs. It unnerved me at first, and honestly it still unnerves me. I asked why she didn’t stare at my legs, and she just laughed.”
Alberts is confident that with therapy and time, Anne will be able to overcome her limb envy, and be comfortable in her own skin.
The Silverstons have asked for respect and privacy for Anne as she is thrust into psychology’s limelight.