Where a person ranks in their family affects their personality, but also accurately predicts the risks for specific diseases. Psychiatrist Sue Varma, MD, appeared on the Dr. Oz show to discuss how biology and psychology mix to predict this.
The eldest/first born
Are very intelligent, high-achieving and successful — tend to have higher IQ’s than the other siblings. They don’t normally take risks, and tend to be the care-givers in the family. Unfortunately, they have the highest stress levels so this leads to heart issues. Also have a high risk for eating disorders, like anorexia. Famous first born: Alec Baldwin, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton.
The middle child
Always feel like they don’t fit in, and as a result go out into the world trying to prove themselves and make their own way. They are very successful because of this and tend to be negotiators, mediators and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, they tend to feel isolated in their own homes and are more prone to anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Famous middle children: Anne Hathaway, Madonna, and Bill Gates.
Are extremely playful, creative, have an excellent sense of humor and a love for the stage. They need to find a way to grab attention, and tend to be actors or comedians. They are also risk takers, and try to “dethrone” the eldest. Unfortunately, they are prone to addictive behaviors like gambling, over-eating, alcohol and drug addiction, sex addiction, and even sky-diving. Famous youngest children: Prince Harry, Goldie Hawn.
The only child
Have a mix of the oldest and youngest child; like the eldest they are perfectionists, very ambitious and high-achieving, but have the creative and playful side of the youngest (as well as the risk taking). They tend to prefer the company of adults, are sophisticated and use adult language from an early age. Unfortunately, they are prone to obesity. Famous only children: Alicia Keys, Tiger Woods, and Robert De Niro.
Dr. Oz asked Dr. Varma if there were any exceptions, and she explained a couple more scenarios. If a family has only two children, the youngest child is still classed as the youngest, not the middle child. If the difference in age is more than five years, then the effects are diluted. She points out that biology is not your destiny.
The Season of Your Birth
Dr. Varma and Dr. Oz also discussed how the season you are born in can affect your health. People born in winter can suffer from mood disorders, and should eat foods like turkey, peanuts, and edamame to combat this. People born in spring tend to suffer from fall and winter depression, so should look at natural ways to treat this and also eat mushrooms, milk and salmon to increase levels of Vitamin D. People born in summer have a high risk of stroke so should eat fruits and vegetables with white flesh. People born in the fall are more prone to asthma, so should look at a Himalayan salt inhaler for relief.