Until a few years ago traditional medicine advocated a radical separation between body and mind. It was understood that physical diseases were caused by external agents to the body or body abnormalities and psychological problems were something different, that is little understood and poorly.
Today, things have changed a lot; today we know that the individual is a unique and comprehensive set and cannot be separated into different parts. Physical illnesses cause pain, and strong adjustments in the individual’s life, so that produce emotional reactions, such as stress and thus anxiety, etc. Sometimes even emotional instability is generated by an organic reaction of the disease itself in our own body, for example by hormonal imbalance. Some drugs that are provided to address physical illnesses also influence the emotional area. This relationship is bidirectional, mood, in turn, can also be a triggering agent of physical disorders that can be serious because the body’s defenses are at their lowest point. Continued stress leads to stomach ulcers and some psychological diseases manifest mainly through summarization, such as a headache, back pain, paralysis of a body part etc.
Much research and understand the interaction between the physical and the mental, because it is a new field of study and there are many possible associations based on physical illness or psychological problem that arises. However, these examples should serve to bear in mind the association body-mind in our daily life in sickness and wellness.
Recent research shows that psychological factors may play an important role in the onset and maintenance of some diseases.
Psychosomatic illnesses are produced by summarizations the individual. That is when the mind-body is altered due to unpleasurable emotions, negative feelings, life cycle changes or situations of high emotional impact, which produce stress, which can be represented in the form of symptoms or physical illness.
Psychosomatic Medicine, takes into account emotions, considered and analyzed from a therapeutic approach, which encompasses all of the integrated processes between somatic, psychic, social and cultural systems. Processes initially emerge from the organic and that may affect the psychological and physical sphere, such as trauma, diabetes, gastric diseases, allergies, endocrine diseases, cancer, etc.
There are individual differences in how sick, both psychically and physically. In some people whose physical health has been very good throughout his life, the emotional disorder can persist for long without becoming clearly manifest itself physically. Still, you probably have greater ease in getting common diseases such as influenza, lower vitality, mild symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems or other, chronic fatigue, etc., all caused by the lack of defenses, which fall level due to mood. Instead, others express their emotional physically changes very quickly, so you may not even be aware of what they are feeling.
Sometimes we go to the doctor complaining of illness or disease, and after we check the results are negative, not having a justification to the discomfort of the disease that we have. This causes some confusion, as it is more convenient to find a physical cause and apply a treatment, to understand and accept that it is our mind that may be causing or maintaining the alteration. This confusion and uncertainty affects turn our emotional state which, in turn, will continue focusing or intensifying our pain, without realizing it. Thus, a vicious circle from which, if we are not aware of this dualism, it will be difficult to get out is created.
Emotions do not just happen but are related to our way of interpreting and feel what happens to us. People who make negative or interpretations too demanding and if they also lack the resources to cope with stressful events or solve the problems of his life, is more likely to have psychosomatic illnesses. The mind is very powerful and thus not to say what we feel; the grudges or negative feelings can contribute to ailments as a means of expression of suffering.
Physical symptoms that manifest chronically or appear and disappear periodically without any medical treatment achieves improve them, or being treated pharmacologically end up being always replaced by others appear later, are we indicating that there is a problem or conflict unresolved emotional. If you dig a little, it is quite possible to discover emotional states that may be contributing to physical illness, either by producing symptoms directly or weakening our defenses so that we are more easily attacked by infectious agents and it costs us too much work to get rid of them.
It is a proven fact the influence of the emotional state in diseases; naturally different dimensions depending on the individual, the disease and the influence of other factors.
It is very important to know about these diseases and especially choose the best medical treatment without forgetting to treat the psychological component of the disease. The expression, the hearing being is more than just a characteristic of human beings; it is a necessity that helps the release of stressful problems in our mind and body. You have to face situations that we face in life and know how to control negative emotions, which are normal and necessary, but everything in excess is bad.
Do not forget: cure heals the inside to the outside.
Thrill with a flower skin
The fragile armor that covers the human being is the skin and an open book reveals moods, emotions or health problems. Many skin conditions are rooted in unresolved emotional disorders. The skin then functions as a system responsible alarm. As reflect an emotional world that often has no way reflected. Skin and emotions are much closer together than you might think, there are studies that say that 80% of skin diseases is psychosomatic.
The skin is, above all, a sophisticated Thermostatic to our emotions. Let’s talk about emotions such as shame, anger, anxiety or fear. Now think about the times we have felt that we were going on the cheeks because we feel embarrassed in a social situation; who have not sweated her hands on an exam or a job interview; Who has not felt intense heat or redness of the neck when he felt angry; or who has not felt that the face was left without irrigation when given a scare. These simple examples show us show how our skin is another part of our bodies and reacts when we feel emotions; in fact, it is a highly reactive tissue to our emotions.
The happy person radiates light through their pores while the epidermis becomes opaque in situations of sadness or disappointment. Stress is another serious disorder that finds its main means of expression through the epidermis. The stress favors the release of adrenaline and it acts on the sebaceous glands, which capture the excess hormones in the blood and produce more sebum.
The psoriasis is a skin disease that reflects clearly our skin speaks of emotions. It is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by irritation and skin swelling, whose most characteristic symptoms are redness and the presence of plaques with silvery scales and / or cracks. This disease is hereditary which may occur suddenly or gradually and presents with periods of worsening and improvement.
Psoriasis has no cure although preventive treatment, i.e. actions aimed at preventing symptoms or, in the case of its appearance, avoid increasing in severity appear. The treatment should always be determined by the dermatologist and depending on the severity, but we must not forget the psychological components that influence the disease, in line psychosomatic illnesses.
Psychological factors influencing psoriasis
One of the internal factors is essential to control the level of stress in the body. Stress is a concept that is reflected with some evidence psychic and somatic functions with inflammation of the skin that occurs in these cases is a clear example of this.
Stress can affect health because it modifies the normal rhythm of our body. It is natural and automatic response of our body to situations that are challenging and threatening us. Our life and our environment, constantly changing, we require continuous adaptation, therefore, certain amount of stress (activation) is required.
We tend to believe that stress is a result of circumstances outside ourselves when, in fact, is a process of interaction between environmental events and our cognitive, emotional and physical responses. When the stress response continues or intensifies in time, our health, our work or academic performance or even our social relationships may be affected
Studies show that there are special circumstances, highly stressful, with more likely to cause skin reactions, such as divorce, continued care of a sick, being subjected to sustained high levels of noise or loss beloved. In general, all these situations that the living person so stressful own mind. Skin and nervous system are closely linked; since they have the same embryonic origin. Psychological stress makes the body release chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These affect various body organs, including the skin, and cause reactions by which:
- The skin barrier becomes less impermeable, with a slight acceleration of skin renewal;
- The skin is prone to catch fire;
- The immune system weakens causing the cells do not protect or less effective in this role. Therefore, it cannot respond optimally to inflammation.
Given that the result of stress skin is weakened, the immune system does not protect you and your body is not properly regulated, the appearance of specific skin diseases like psoriasis is more likely to be stress one of the many influencing factors in these skin disorders.
Can stress trigger psoriasis?
Stress alone cannot cause psoriasis since psoriasis is a multifactorial disease in which are involved genetic, environmental and immunological factors.
However, in many cases, psoriasis appears after a stressful event. Extreme forms of stress, such as those caused by a traffic accident or a death, or milder and long forms, such as a family situation problematic, divorce or conflicts in the workplace, they can cause psoriasis and increase the risk of relapses. In addition, the disease itself causes stress as the skin plays an important role in interpersonal communication. The visible lesions, especially in the hands and face, can damage self – esteem and lead to anxiety and even depression. It thus creates a vicious circle, since this stress may, in turn, lead to outbreaks.
Is there a delay between a stressful event and the outbreak of psoriasis?
Some scientific studies show that it may take a period of between two days and four weeks between the stressful event and the appearance of psoriasis. There is no causal link between the duration and severity of psoriasis. However, it appears that patients who identified the cause of stress that triggered the condition have some periods of more frequent and longer lasting than those who have not identified this cause remission.
Does anxiety-induced scratching can aggravate injuries?
Another way that stress and anxiety affect the evolution of the disease is behavior before itches. Psoriasis usually causes itching, and many people cannot stop scratching because they suffer from great anxiety. You can get to become compulsive behavior. Continuous scratching and aggressive increases the inflammation of the skin, which in turn leads to increased itchiness. The skin is also damaged when the scales are torn areas or lesions rub. Psoriasis patients must learn to relax to break this vicious circle.
How to fight stress
The first thing to combat excessive stress knows how to identify your symptoms. The most common signs are:
- Emotions: Anxiety, irritability, mood fluctuation, fear, and confusion.
- Thoughts: Excessive self-criticism, perfectionism desire, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, excessive concern for the future, forgetfulness, excessive fear of failure, recurrent thoughts.
- Behavior: Stuttering and other speech difficulties, crying, impulsive reactions, nervous laughter, gruff towards others treatment, teeth grinding or clenching, decreased or increased appetite, increased consumption of alcohol, snuff or other drugs, more prone to accidents, excessive activity.
- Physical changes: Tight muscles, cold or sweaty hands, headaches, back problems or neck, sleep disturbances, upset stomach, flu or infection, rapid breathing, fatigue, tremors, dry mouth, palpitations … In the case of psoriasis in this area increased include skin lesions.
External events generators stress need not be very noticeable or intense, but can “accumulate” in effect until we reached the limit and triggers a response that reflects stress. The way we interpret and think about what happens to us affects our perspective and experience stress. Our reactions to the environment are also determined by our level of overall health. A person who sleeps little is always overwhelmed, not properly fed, probably created with fewer resources to cope with difficult situations and emotional imbalance will be higher. Hence, in the case of psoriasis itself, the emotional impact that it generates is not the same in all people who suffer or be commensurate with the size of the lesions present.
The strategies we can take to combat this state of alert over our bodies seek to prevent or control the excesses in the demands from the environment or ourselves. As we said earlier, there are events that inevitably we will generate stress since they involve a change or challenge in our routines. In these cases, the challenge is to deal with situations in the healthiest way possible without falling into bad habits such as pessimism, helplessness, agitation … This may make certain strategies that portend greater success in the performance of activities and therefore greater physical and mental wellbeing concerning the disease:
- Relaxation: There are different relaxation techniques that can reduce the voltage level of our body. For example, abdominal breathing, progressive relaxation of different muscle areas of the body or the imagination of landscapes, places or pleasing images. Introduce these practices into the daily routine can contribute to a more positive view of life and face situations calmer and creative way, slowing down the appearance of outbreaks of psoriasis.
In addition to the inclusion of these techniques should be introduced in the daily rest periods and leisure that allow physical and psychological renewal.
- Exercise: Physical activities that are the taste of the person and help revive repairs forces. In turn, contribute to the elimination of toxins by sweating, a factor favoring the course of skin lesions.
- Maintain a favorable diet: In addition to combat stress, in the case of people with psoriasis should increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and eliminate or decrease dairy, coffee, alcohol, fried and refined foods as it should favor elimination of toxins from our body fighting constipation.
- Sleep schedules and routines chords needed a break.
- Assertiveness: Set limits when necessary and learn to say no to what does not suit us or not agree.
- Organize time: Prioritizing and structuring activities and expectations based on what is beneficial, healthy and interested us for our physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Try to keep expectations realistic: Expecting too much of yourself or others, and be required too inflexible with oneself can generate a lot of frustration.
- Sharing emotions: Emotional support and find people with whom to express how we feel, both to the disease and to daily events. As we have explained, the skin speaks for itself of repressed feelings so you should give out through the expression and open communication of feelings and emotions for understanding, acceptance and sharing of information, both with regard to the disease as in the rest.
- Anticipate and prepare stressful situation: Imagine the stressful situation and visualize helps us to be more prepared for when you really give.
- Caring and sort things oneself to chaos or disorder does not find things not cause a reaction of protest from our body.
- Experience of the disease:
Another psychological factor to consider is the experience of the disease. The skin is a component of our body exposed to others, contributes to our personal and social image, and reflects or creates as reflected towards others; you can influence our mood and the way we relate. People with psoriasis may have the feeling of being observed and even discriminated against, although not always the case, existing prejudices that can generate thoughts in mind who believe that others have about them,
A recommendation to keep those thoughts, real or distorted prevent socialize and become focus of attention, is able to express and share with other people or professionals all thoughts and feelings that occur in the person of psoriasis. This manifestation of the skin can be, among other things, a resource of our body to express inner feelings and emotions, as we have seen, so verbalize how a person feels with these injuries can take another escape route to the skin and generate psychological relief. Also, be aesthetically affected with psoriasis can start a cycle that adds only negative thoughts to oneself, which does not help much and can exacerbate outbreaks and consequently the state of sadness and disapproval.
The most common emotional reactions are shame and guilt and this can damage self-esteem.
It is important to an individual therapeutic work to achieve first accept the reality of the disease and accepting oneself with it without, however, reduce the assessment of the person to the disease. This task should take into account:
- Try to not only reduce their physical appearance to injuries caused by the disease but take it as a whole.
- Highlight and be aware of the positive aspects of self and not focus on the negative that each perceives himself.
- Not generalize from the negative experiences that we can have in certain areas of our lives or from psoriasis. We must accept that we have had failures in some respects and that the onset of the disease is beyond our control, but this does not mean that in general and in all aspects of our life be “disastrous” or that we fault.
- Strengthen us the successes we have achieved and try to propose and achieve new challenges. This will help you see that, regardless of the disease, we have the ability to do things well in many areas of our lives and that we can go further enhancing.
- Avoid comparisons: all people are different; in some areas and not in others we highlight but therein lies both the idiosyncrasies of each. People with psoriasis may feel different from their injuries but that does not mean they are inferior since the areas in which perform better and worse are not dependent on skin disorders, but their capabilities.
- Trust in ourselves, in our abilities and our opinions. Always act according to what we think and feel, without reducing our worth excessively to the approval of others.
- Accept ourselves with our strengths and weaknesses. In the case of psoriasis, accepting oneself also means accepting the disease, considering it a reality and learns to live with it without seeing it as the biggest obstacle,
- A good way to improve self-esteem is to develop a self-improvement project: identity what we would like to change, what we would like to achieve and how to carry out that change. This is useful for us to identify what we like to change about ourselves and what we would like to achieve. Set clear and realistic goals according to our possibilities, establish the steps to achieve them and reinforce the achievements, and not generate more frustration.
- Perform enrichment activities for oneself
- Information about the disease to take better care and consequently feel better.
These are some of the aspects that should work in psychotherapy for emotional approach to the disease requires in addition to coping with stress is a process, not immediately, but above all we must bear in mind that talk about psoriasis help and can create an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance and openness to facilitate living with the disease. In addition, to addressing it in the clinical setting, achieving speak naturally of the disease in the closest environment contributes to the greater well-being of the person.
It is important that people with psoriasis have a most standardized possible life and therefore it is advisable to also work individually mentioned, the dissemination of information for us all to raise awareness among the characteristics of this disease and avoid being drawn into myths wrong to people suffering from this disease.