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There are as many different personalities as there are people with dwarfism, and there is not one psychological profile to fit them all. People react in different psychological ways.

Stereotypes in society make us think that success is reserved only for strong, tall, beautiful people. This is why little people often feel inferior, and why it is not uncommon for them to be ashamed of their height. They feel incapable of doing what everyone else can, which sometimes leaves them depressed or makes them withdraw into themselves.

Other little people unconsciously revel in their situation and try to take full advantage of it. They strongly resist change and need excuses to complain. Their small stature becomes a way to avoid any evaluative or competitive situation. Serious anxiety can develop as a result.

On the other hand, some little people may want to get ahead in a number of areas to compensate for their shortcomings. This is a healthy reaction because with it comes feelings of value and pride, but this behaviour should not become obsessive to the point where it is an escape from reality or detrimental to their health.

Little people and their families must go through a period where they mourn the loss of normal height. Let’s remember, however, that dwarfism is rarely hereditary and occurs as a random anomaly: anyone could give birth to a child with dwarfism. Whether they discover their child has dwarfism at birth or after several years, parents will undoubtedly be shocked by the news. They will go through a grieving period similar to one following the death of a loved one.*

  1. Shock, denial: "There must be an error. My child is going to grow!"
  2. Anger towards the situation, guilt: "It's not fair! It's the doctor's fault."
  3. Looking for solutions, negotiating with reality, fate, and doctors: "I'll do what you want, just make my child grow 10 cm taller."
  4. Distress: "It's not worth fighting over."
  5. Acceptance: "My child's small stature is only one of their characteristics, not who they really are."


*from the work of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross



© 2011 AQPPT - Translated by George Bravo and Judy Murphy