Neurologists have such an expression: “A person is a nervous system, everything else is its appendages.” And the people often say: “All diseases – from the nerves.”
Indeed, the more stress in a person’s life – the more often he gets sick. This article will discuss why this is happening, and how serious the “illnesses from nerves” can be.
The fact that the human psyche can significantly affect the state of the body, it was known for a long time. The ancient Greeks believed that the body can change under the influence of the soul. These ideas were developed in their writings by Hippocrates. In ancient Indian medicine there was a concept of “prajnaparadha” – wrong, negative thoughts as the cause of the disease. And in the Middle Ages, doctors (often priests in combination), often finding no other reason for the suffering of the patient, referred to the fact that he was “punished for sinful deeds and thoughts.”
Today, the functions of the nervous system are well studied. Scientists know how it regulates the work of organs, and how “bad thoughts” and “spiritual substance” are involved in the emergence of completely material symptoms.
Why is this happening?
According to WHO, 38% -42% of patients who go to doctors suffer from psychosomatic diseases, that is, in the development of which a significant role is played by mental processes.
The nervous system controls the functions of all organs and systems, forcing them to work as a whole.
The most common and obvious example of changes in the work of the body under the influence of the nervous system is stress. During a stressful situation, the brain and endocrine glands work together: certain nerve centers are activated, and rapid release of adrenaline and other stress hormones begins. This leads to a whole set of reactions:
- blood pressure rises;
- the strength and frequency of heart contractions increases, it needs more oxygen;
- Increases muscle tone;
- Increasing blood flow to the brain, muscles, heart;
- In the intestines and other internal organs, on the contrary, there is a spasm of blood vessels, they begin to receive less blood and oxygen.
Stress is an ancient evolutionary mechanism that man inherited from animals. The brain receives signals from the senses, realizes the danger and prepares the body for collision with it. The final is either a battle, physical efforts to overcome the situation, or escape.
In the organism of modern man the same reactions occur as thousands of years ago in our ancestors. But the living conditions have changed a lot. Yes, and the device of the psyche in people has become more complicated. And what is more complicated, as people’s wisdom says, is more often broken.
In modern society, it is rarely necessary to use physical force to resolve conflict situations. Muscle tone increases during stress, but they do not have to carry out intensive workloads. Pulse and breathing increase, but you do not need to defend yourself from anyone, you do not need to run away anywhere. The evolutionary rule “the strongest survivor” almost ceased to work with respect to the reasonable person.
Modern man has to hide, suppress emotions. This can be compared with a spring. During stress, it is strongly compressed and ready to “fire.” In the body energy is allocated, the defense systems are put on alert, the muscles, the brain and the heart are activated. But in the end, the spring does not “shoot”.
The body must gently return it to its original position, so as not to harm itself.
If this situation is repeated many times, then the work of the organs is violated. First, these violations are temporary and not accompanied by structural changes. But the function and structure are closely interrelated – the violation of one inevitably entails the violation of another.
This kind of psychosomatic disorders can be attributed to the easiest. This is not even a disease, but only functional disorders. If such a patient visits a doctor, then most often he will not be diagnosed. He is healthy.
Functional disorders manifest themselves in the form of incomprehensible tingling, unpleasant sensations, periodic lung disorders of a particular organ. During the examination, no abnormalities are detected.
Sometimes such conditions are called neuroses of organs: “neurosis of the heart”, “neurosis of the stomach”, etc.
Neurosis is a nervous disease that occurs as a result of the failure of the adaptation reaction. A person can not adapt to the conditions of a harsh reality and begins to react to them not quite adequately. For example, in cases of neurasthenic neurosis, the patient is sure that he is weak, very sick, circumstances are constantly developing not in his favor. Often, headaches, “lump in the throat”, pains in the heart and other symptoms are disturbed. In fact, this is an unconscious painful reaction of the nervous system. But it can develop into serious chronic diseases.
Another case is a hysterical neurosis. “Symptoms of the disease” in patients with hysteria – a tool to attract attention to their person. Patients try to manipulate others so, and often unconsciously.
In hysterical neurosis, pains in different organs, “paralysis” of legs or hands, “deafness”, “blindness”, vomiting and other symptoms may occur.
Initially, medicine was dominated by the approach according to which external factors were considered as the main causes of diseases. Infections cause bacteria and viruses. Poisonings are toxic substances. Burns – high fever. Atherosclerosis is an unhealthy food.
But as the development of genetics among doctors began to gain popularity the opposite point of view. Began to sound statements that only a predisposed person can get sick with this or that pathology. Infections are more likely to infect people with low immunity. Atherosclerosis is affected by those who are predisposed to fullness and metabolic disorders.
Modern medicine has found a “golden mean”. Today it is believed that for the onset of the disease, a meeting of a predisposed person with the corresponding harmful influence of the environment must occur. The correlation of the roles of these factors may be different, but they are always there.
Thus, the state of the nervous system plays a more or less significant role in the onset and progression of all diseases. Even in the case of injuries: according to statistics, they are more often received by more active people, with a reduced instinct of self-preservation.
At the moment, the impact of the nervous system on the development and progress of diseases such as:
- bronchial asthma
- irritable bowel syndrome
- primary arterial hypertension;
- tension headache;
- Disorders such as panic attacks (vegetovascular dystonia).
How to prevent illness from “nerves”?
- Try to avoid conflict situations. And if they arise, then try to solve them peacefully, not pumping.
- Use the services of a psychologist. This practice has long been common in Western countries.
- Try to rest more, to be outdoors, in interesting places, to change the situation. If you live in a big city – try to travel more often to nature, to the country, to the village.
- Plan your day and stick to a certain schedule.
- Sleep at least 6-8 hours a day.
- In periods of intense work, getting used to a new environment or team – take vitamins. You can use mild sedatives (check with your doctor).
- There are many classes that contribute to the harmonization of the nervous system: swimming, creativity (painting, needlework), yoga, meditation, etc.