The sick soul: somatization is not a myth | THE UNIVERSAL

DThe management of emotions has spoken to us so much that today it seems that we should be experts on the subject … On the other hand, there is the search for happiness, who does not want to be happy, right?

Beyond our feelings is the fact that many professionals assure that somatization exists; This is the process by which people experience and express emotional distress through physical symptoms and it is one of the greatest challenges that a doctor can face in their daily medical practice, since the symptoms lack an organic cause documented.

The specialist José Danilo Barco, master in PsychoNeuroImmunoEndocrinology (PNIE), explains that the mechanism by which we maintain or lose the balance of our health can be understood, studying how the immune system is communicated with the central nervous system and the endocrine system, affecting its interaction with our emotional, mental and social health.

Barco was born in Cali and has professionally accompanied entities such as the Colombian National Police, the Colombian Air Force and has had a presence in post-conflict areas in Cauca, treating mental health and associated ailments in war zones such as fears, psychosomatic illnesses, violence , anxiety and depression.

Of these diseases that began in the mind and are reflected in the body, he has spent more than 19 years researching stress and at the time he focused on conflict zones in Cauca and Valle.

“People who have had large emotional shocks had very strong associations with autoimmune and orphan pathologies, lupus erythomatous, allergies, and gastrointestinal disorders.

“On the other hand, it was found that violent processes regularly lead to cancers … someone who killed a relative or those who never saw a child again. We must understand that there is also a relationship between the brain and the heart ”.

Dr. Barco exemplifies for me the painful experience of a woman victim of violence who, for no apparent reason, developed osteoarticular pain, fused with the memory of what happened to her two young children.

“There is a relationship between body, mind and soul. In this case, it is necessary to focus on which emotion is dominating the person and from there work for health ”.

Displaced women are at high risk of having emerging or reactive depressions, which rapidly increase the comorbidity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and type II bipolar affective disorder (BD with hypomania), while men have major depressive disorders, whose Comorbidity towards a type I BD (mania) is greater, reaching explosive externalization of aggressiveness, perpetrating acts of domestic violence. This was analyzed in the 2006 report of the Rapporteurship of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

Indeed, a study by doctors Aydé Concepción Espino-Polanco and Mercedes García-Cardona, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, found that different mental stressors and the resulting immunosuppression make women susceptible to illness.

“The presence of depression in people makes them vulnerable to developing neoplastic diseases, including CaMa, breast cancer. It has also been identified in women who do not have social support and in those who cannot cope with the situations of daily life; likewise, the expression of persistent fear of suffering from the disease due to a history of direct relatives with CaMa generates sadness, which lasts for a long time and years later they may present the disease ”.

From the analyzed samples, aspects of vital importance to understand in this process of somatization in cancer are derived:

– Problems experienced during childhood are important, since they can influence the increase in vulnerability to various diseases in adulthood, including breast cancer.

– Other difficult events that occur during life are associated with the generation of stress and with inadequate control of various situations, the personality of individuals, which influences the way they deal with their emotions.

– The lack of expression of feelings or experiences in the face of family, work or financial problems, with the passing of time, weakens the immune system by not releasing these types of emotions and, as a result, women fall ill after a few years.

In the case of victims of violence, there must be traditional psychological and medical support to prevent somatization from uncontrollably affecting the lives of these people. On the other hand, when daily emotions are mishandled in less complex cases, we must understand that it is better to be protagonists of the circumstances. Emotional and physical exhaustion, aggressiveness or depression also become triggers that lead to intolerance, domestic violence and social aggressiveness, situations directly associated with stress and physical illnesses.

With his research hotbed, Dr. Barco was able to determine that doctors and teachers are the most stressed professionals in Colombia.

“There is no path to happiness, I say it as a doctor who works against stress: happiness is here and now, the ability to enjoy the present moment taking into account all the little details. You think you will be happy when you have many other things that you do not have at the moment, but the time comes when you have them and the person is not happy … On the understanding that we can bathe in the same river, but not in the same water, we can do a lot for ourselves from our attitude ”, adds Barco.

Taking advantage of the interview, the expert adds: “I have an aversion to the terminology of coaching and it is that many people who are called this way do not know the true interaction of the organism in terms of emotions and therefore cannot really help others ”.

And yes, the soul makes the body sick, concludes the expert, but the fact that the aid tool is in our own brain is good news.

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