Asthma and the psyche – what is the relationship between them?

Researchers often study the relationship between asthma and the psyche. Assumptions about this connection have existed for a long time, because it is very easy to see, observing the daily life of sick people. Particularly apparent is the dependence of an asthma attack on stress and anxiety.

Nevertheless, some scientists still have the question: is it possible to unequivocally state the existence of a connection between asthma and the psyche? Or is this just a likely guess? Scientific studies show that this relationship cannot be denied.

Science defines asthma as a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the airways. It is also the most common chronic disease in children: estimates show that at least 60% of asthmatics are children. Many of the causes of the disease are identified as psychological. Consequently, the connection between asthma and the psyche cannot be challenged.

About research results

One of the studies on this topic was devoted to the emotions of patients – comparing the emotions of healthy people with the emotions of patients with asthma to identify possible differences. It was found that asthmatics have more hostile relationships and feelings of helplessness, they often fall into a state of despondency than healthy people.

Other studies have confirmed this conclusion. They showed that up to 50% of asthma patients often suffer from depressive symptoms. It was also found that people suffering from depression and anxiety are more likely to experience asthma attacks and are more likely to see a doctor. When they take antidepressants, the symptoms of asthma are reduced.

Thus, it was clearly proved that there is a clear connection between asthma and the psyche. Using MRI, the researchers concluded that the asthmatic process is associated with two areas of the brain that are responsible for emotions. However, these results are not considered final, since the number of subjects was small.

Research continues

Scientists also doubt the ignorance of the extent of this connection and the specific mechanisms involved. However, it is clear that psychological factors play an important role in the course of this disease. Depression or anxiety definitely leads to asthma attacks.

Negative emotional states affect the disease in many ways:

1. Fear sometimes speeds up breathing and can lead to shortness of breath and suffocation. This physiological state occurs during various emotional events: crying, fear, stress, and so on. In addition, each strong emotional event increases the narrowing of the bronchi.

2. Asthmatics are more likely to suffer from depression, despondency, and anger because they are limited by the disease. At the same time, it is known that the prognosis of patients will improve significantly if they cope with these psychological symptoms.

Neither in this case, nor in any other disease can the physical aspect be considered separately from what is happening in the brain. Therefore, the words about the “mortally grieving soul” or “mortal sorrow” are true.

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