There is a connection between illness and emotions. Emotions do not come out of nowhere, but are related to our way of interpreting what happens to us, and these reactions can lead to physiological symptoms.

Just as physical ailments can cause alterations in the mood of those who suffer from it, psychological dilemmas are also reflected in our body, and are expressed through diseases or illnesses.

When the relationship between the mind and the body is not in harmony due to strong emotions, negative feelings, low self-esteem and stressful situations, psychosomatic illnesses arise .

Psychosomatic illnesses are physical pains that appear and develop in relation to psychological factors. When we talk about psychosomatic symptoms we are referring to physical pain for which there is no medical diagnosis.

How emotions are projected onto the body

There are different ways in which bodily problems or disorders related to psychological problems can manifest themselves in our body.

  • Respiratory system : During depression, unforeseen events can make a person hold their breath, causing emotions and states of anguish that seem to suffocate us.
  • The digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or irritable the colon is linked l anger, rage and aggression.
  • Genitourinary problems : they are linked to fear, lack of self-esteem, shyness and hopelessness.
  • The glands : When you have chronic conditions such as anxiety, jealousy and stress, these emotional imbalances can affect the glands.
  • Skin conditions: they are related to communication difficulties in which someone wants to impose their point of view, as well as excess authority and dominance over others.
  • Circulatory system and heart : direct affections on the heart or the cardiovascular system can have an emotional origin, fluctuating moods, hysteria, nervousness and anger are the main enemies of the heart.

The body expresses itself when we silence our emotions

The physical manifestation of the same ailment or disease will develop differently depending on the state of mind from which we face it. For illnesses like fibromyalgia, learning to manage emotions and find emotional balance has been shown to aid recovery.

An important concept related to the inability to express our emotions is alexithymia . This condition is described as a set of symptoms observed in people with psychosomatic illnesses and manifests as difficulty in identifying and describing emotions, as well as a very poor inner life full of fantasies.

The different causes of alexithymia include hereditary, genetic, and neuronal characteristics, brain injuries, and trauma. People with alexithymia are generally recognized by those who live with them, who can describe them as cold and distant people.

These people have little ability to express their emotions, presenting conflicts to correspond or offer a response to the feelings of others, which makes them very little empathetic in their character.

Consequences of emotional repression

People with alexithymia have been suggested to suppress their emotions. This repression serves to keep painful or unpleasant experiences out of the conscious mind. Individuals use this as a defense strategy and therefore have less access to emotional memories, especially those of negative or unpleasant experiences.

Emotional repression, as well as difficulty expressing emotions, causes physical problems, such as an attempt to come out into the open. If we change certain patterns and improve our ability to handle emotions, we will get them to be expressed as they should be, thus preventing the body from being the one to scream to signal that something is wrong.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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