Negative Emotions can Affect Physical Health

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A new study explores the tie between negative feeling and their effect on physical health, and the results are quite interesting.

It appears that depression and anxiety may lead to the same negative consequences that develop due to smoking and obesity.

The renowned French philosopher Rene Descartes thought that there is no connection between the mind and the body, as they are two completely separate entities. This idea had a significant influence over other philosophers and scientists but recent research seems to point out that the idea could be false.

In his book ‘’Descartes’s error’’ neuroscientist Antonio Damasio argues that there is a strong connection between the brain, the emotions we feel and the capacity to judge.

The results of the study reinforce this theory. A team of researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California decided to explore if psychiatric afflictions like anxiety and depression may lead to long-lasting effects on the person’s physical health.

Over 15, 000 seniors were investigated during a period of four years. The average age was 68 years and the data was provided by a governmental study that wanted to learn if the participants experimented feelings of anxiety or depression. Researchers had access to data regarding weight, smoking, and medical conditions.

The study revealed that 16% of the participants experienced a high level of anxiety and depression, 14% smoked and 31% were obese.

Those that presented high levels of anxiety and depression were found to be more vulnerable to health problems. The risks of a heart attack rose by 65%, for a stroke by 64%, the risk to develop high blood pressure was up to 50% higher and last but not least, the predisposition towards having arthritis was 87% higher.

In some cases the risks were on par with those faced by smokers or obese participants, but the risk of arthritis was considerably bigger. The study also notes that there is no link between anxiety and depression and the appearance of cancer.

Their results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.


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