Psychosomatics: how do behavioral patterns affect your heart?

Psychosomatics is a branch of medicine and psychology that studies the influence of psychological factors (character and personality traits, behavior styles) on the occurrence and course of bodily diseases. 

In modern medicine, it is believed that the occurrence of any disease is affected by many reasons. And psychological ones are one of them.

There are different approaches that explain how the mental state affects the somatic one. And today we want to tell you about the research of M. Friedman and R. Rosenman and the relationship of personal characteristics with heart disease.

People have always associated heart disease with emotional turmoil and difficult life situations. When a person thinks that the heart is functioning with interruptions, they become anxious, fearful and symptoms increase. This kind of "vicious circle " can cause cardiophobia, hypochondriacal or somatic disorders.

Friedman and Rosenman developed an assessment in which they found people with a particular set of attitudes and behavioral responses, which they labeled as "type A behavior." Type A behavior includes a pronounced desire to achieve success, a tendency to compete, impatience, hostility, a fast pace of speech, and a lively manner of gestures.

Subjects who didn't have these characteristics were assigned to behavioral type B.

Friedman and Rosenman examined 3,500 healthy people, followed their health status for eight and a half years, and proved that subjects who were characterized by type A behavior were twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

People with behavioral type A also have features of self-esteem. Their self-esteem is constantly in need of confirmation, and their life, therefore, is a continuous process of competition. This also manifests itself in excessive demands on themself, so that a person must be very competitive to match them. Because of this, the type A personality is constantly experiencing anxiety, because no amount of success, even the most outstanding, can allow it to "rest on our laurels."

In addition to constant anxiety for the results of actions, the negative effects of high motivation for achievement can be attributed to the individual's aspiration to significant goals at the expense of their own well-being. This leads people with type A behavior to not notice threatening symptoms of a heart attack in time, so they go to the doctor too late.

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