June 8, 1984

Lost Jewelry and Psychiatric Problems

Author Affiliations

Birmingham, Ala

JAMA. 1984;251(22):2928. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340460018008

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To the Editor.—  People who have lost expensive jewelry may have underlying, serious emotional conflicts that require psychiatric intervention. I have seen two wealthy women who were referred to me for hypnotherapy for lost jewelry.The first patient was a 44-year-old woman who had lost a very expensive, multicarat diamond engagement ring on the anniversary date of her son's death. This was the ring promised to her son's bride when he was ready for marriage. This son had burned to death in a horrible industrial accident a few years before. She found the ring following treatment for her unresolved grief.The second patient was a 49-year-old woman who lost a bag full of expensive jewelry after she had a fight with her husband. She found the jewelry following treatment for underlying marital problems.In each of these cases, the memory loss for jewelry was the tip of an emotional iceberg.