Can You Stress Yourself to Death? One Physician Says Emotions Seriously Impact Physical Health Can You Stress Yourself to Death? One Physician Says Emotions Seriously Impact Physical Health
Culture

Can You Stress Yourself to Death? One Physician Says Emotions Seriously Impact Physical Health

by Cord Jefferson

January 5, 2011

The Canadian physician Dr. Gabor Maté, author of When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection, believes that people bottling up their emotions can directly impact their physical health. Good-vibes types who advocate Eastern medicine have long made the case for a mind-body connection, often without much hard evidence. But, in a recent interview, Maté says there's real science behind his theories.

Three years ago or four years ago, a study presented at the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s International Congress on Women’s Health, a study that was written up in the online version of a major North American medical journal called Circulation, showed that women -- over a 10-year period, they followed 1,700 women -- over a 10-year period, women who were unhappily married and didn’t express their emotions were four times as likely to die as those women who were unhappily married and did express their feelings. In other words, the non-expression of emotion was associated with a 400 percent increase in the death rate. And this study was done in the States, part of a major population study. Now, you would think that study would send every physician in North America trying to figure out the mind-body connection. But these studies get published, and they sink without a trace.

Correlation rarely equals causation, of course, but check out the rest of the interview and decide for yourself.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Samael Kreutz

Recently on GOOD
The
Daily
GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Can You Stress Yourself to Death? One Physician Says Emotions Seriously Impact Physical Health