Is mental illness just depression? It also causes stomach problems, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure

alopah Date:2021-08-13 14:01:21
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Today I would like to introduce a term, called “psychosomatic disease”, what is called psychosomatic disease? These are physical diseases that are highly correlated with psychological factors, such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.


Historically, the main sources of explanation for the pathogenesis of psychosomatic diseases are Freud’s psychodynamic view and Pavlov’s conditioning theory. Psychodynamic viewpoint emphasizes the important role of psychological conflicts in the unconscious field in causing mental abnormalities, and holds that the internal conflicts and emotional disturbances of human beings are the root causes of psychosomatic diseases. In the Soviet Union, physiologist Pavlov established the conditioned reflex theory through animal experiments, and the theory of cerebral cortex and viscera developed on the basis of these two theories has been widely used to explain the pathogenesis of neurosis and psychosomatic diseases.


According to the principle of conditioned reflex, Wolff et al. of Cornell University established a set of accurate experimental methods, which can objectively record the physiological function changes of internal organs caused by environmental and psychological stimuli. After Wolff, Holmes and Rahe turned their focus to the study of social environment. They analyzed the social environment and life events before the onset of various diseases. Through prospective and retrospective studies, they collected a large number of data from different populations, and found that the probability and severity of disease were closely related to life events. The influence of socio-cultural factors on psychosomatic diseases is increasingly recognized.


mental illness


That those psychological factors can cause the pathological changes of the body?


1.Negative emotions


It is generally believed that the important medium of psychological factors affecting body viscera is emotional activities, which can be divided into positive and negative categories. Positive emotions generally play a good role in promoting the life activities of the human body, can improve the intensity and efficiency of human activities (mental and physical labor), and maintain human health, but excessive excitement will also cause negative effects on the body.


Negative emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, depression, mood produces on the one hand, is a kind of necessary to adapt to the environment in the process of reaction, but if too much intensity or duration is very long, can cause nerve and endocrine system disorders, produce adverse effect to the body organ function, and eventually lead to disease in some organs or systems.


This is because, at the same time, emotional activities will inevitably be accompanied by a series of complex physiological and biochemical changes in the body, especially the changes of autonomic nervous system function. For example, when the individual is threatened by the outside world, it will produce anxiety and anger, resulting in increased secretion of adrenaline and adrenal corticosteroids, increased heart rate, vasoconstriction and blood pressure, accelerated breathing, gastrointestinal peristalsis slowed and other physiological changes.


If this emotion is short time, it has little harm to the body if it lasts for a long time or increases in frequency, then this lasting negative emotion will cause irreversible physiological and biochemical changes in the body and the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which will lead to the lesions of organs and tissues.


Wollf, a professor of psychosomatic medicine in the United States, and others, after more than 30 years of research, believe that there is a class of physical diseases, emotional factors play a major role in them. The main symptoms of these diseases are often confined to a certain organ or system controlled by the autonomic nervous system. They observed patients with stomach problems and found that when the patients were in a happy mood, mucosal secretion and congestion increased, and gastric wall peristalsis increased; When it is sad, self-blame and depressed, the mucous membrane is pale and secretion is reduced; When they are anxious, mucosal congestion, increased secretion, exercise enhanced; When aggressive emotions (resentment, hostility) are present, mucosal secretion and vascular filling are greatly increased, and exercise is also increased.


Thus, According to Wolff, psychosomatic diseases are manifestations of the physical dysfunction that accompanies emotional states.


2.personality factors


Everyone has his own unique style of behavior, which is the embodiment of the uniqueness of people. However, from the perspective of personality, human personality features have their common aspects. In our life, personality characteristics have a very important influence on human diseases, especially on the occurrence, development and outcome of psychosomatic diseases. The following is a list of foreign scholars collating the relationship between some psychosomatic diseases and a particular type of behavior.


Personality characteristics have a significant impact on diseases, especially psychosomatic diseases, due to the role of personality characteristics in the following five aspects:


Personality characteristics can be used as the basis or cause of many diseases, such as type A personality and coronary heart disease has A great relationship.


Personality characteristics can change the course of many diseases, for example, CHD patients with type A personality characteristics are prone to relapse, and the mortality rate is much higher than that of CHD patients with type B personality characteristics.


Personality characteristics are an important component of individual psychological resources and affect individual resistance when facing disease


Personality traits affect patients’ decision making and compliance, that is, whether patients abandon risky lifestyles, accept medical advice, and develop healthy behaviors in the face of illness.


Patients with different personality characteristics have different effects on their intervention. For example, health education for diabetic patients is extremely important to change their unhealthy lifestyle and reduce their disease-causing behaviors. However, such health education has a poor effect on patients who are stubborn and unwilling to change their eating habits.


In our daily lives, physical diseases are not simply the result of unhealthy lifestyles or genetic factors. Each disease has its own factors, and now many studies have proved that mental health has a significant impact on physical health, which is the answer to the old Chinese saying: smile, ten years younger.


Finally, I wish you mental health.

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