Mood and diseases
An often repeated wisdom is that a remarkable proportion of diseases have psychological origins. The science also examined the formation of diseases in this context and in fact it justified the thing which was known by everyone as folk wisdom. Since Descartes the science has deterred from every field of research which has a connection with the immaterial existence, like the existence of soul independently from the functioning of the brain cells. At first we examine how the science proved the psychological origins of diseases and later we’ll examine the evidence for the soul’s existence.
Clinical experiments prove that a part of the medical mushroom extracts improve the mood, ease depression, decrease the state of fear and what’s more they may be helpful in the case of older people’s impaired mental status (such as Alzheimer). It is amazing that part of the effects of the extracts can be thanked to the mood improving effects. (1, 2) 17-20% of the population suffers from depression. (3) It increases the probability of death by 50-60%. Its affection can be compared with the harmful effects of smoking. (4) 16-19% of depressed people die by committing suicide and the probability of getting a stroke is 450% bigger according to a 13 year long prospective examination. (5) The chronic depressive mood can increase the risks of cancer with 88% and the chronic state of fear can increase the risk of stroke by 300%. (6, 7) Depression enhances the risks of coronary artery disease by 200% and also increases the risks of stroke. (8, 9, 10) Smoking enhances significantly the harmful effects of depression. In the case of depressed smokers the appearance of cancers specified to smokers is 1800% larger than the probability of cancers which can’t be connected to smoking which is increased by 290%. In the case of smokers who are not depressed it is ‘only’ 420% or 0%. (11) In the case of depressed heavy smokers the activation of the natural killer cells decreased which must be said because these cells play an important role in the anticancer defence mechanism of the organism. The natural killer cells obstruct the formation of metastasis. In the cases of breast, head and neck cancers the activation of the natural killer cells during the time of the diagnosis predicts the formation of metastasis. (12, 13) Depression often goes together with the chronic inflammation processes (higher CRP) and in its presence the number of stem cells which regenerate the vascular system (EPC) decreases. So these contribute to the harmful effects of depression. All these factors have carcinogen and destructive effects for the cardiovascular system. In the case of the depressed the immune response is often deficient to the vaccinations. (14, 15, 16, 17, 3) Mood itself influences our health. Negative emotional periods can have harmful effects even without depression. Positive emotional state’s characteristics: happiness, joy, satisfaction, positive expectations and faith in the future. Generally the higher positive emotional status is associated with lower death rates. (18) Worse emotional status increases the risks of stroke with 26%. (19) A positive way of life and orientation protect older people from the necessity of institutional care, increase the effectiveness of vaccinations and decreases the blood pressure. (20, 21, 22) Those who suffer from a negative emotional status report the symptoms of cold more often. (23) The negative emotions like fear and sorrow can increase the blood-sugar levels too. It was proved in Japan that laughing and joy decrease the increasing of blood-sugar level after eating in the short run. (24)
There are several studies which examine the harmful effects of chronic stress. It was justified that stress reactivates the herpes viruses (eg. Eppstein-Barr virus), increase the probability of upper respiratory and infectious diseases and slows down the period of recovery, distracts the functioning of the immune system, decreases the effectiveness of vaccinations, the probability of the immune response, slows down wound healing and can start inflammation reactions. For women who take care of their husbands suffering from dementia and those living in a violent relationship the wound healing is even slower. (25, 26, 27) Wound healing is 40% slower when students are stressed because of their exams than during the summer holidays. (28) In certain life situations stress can be a carcinogen factor. In cases of those women who experienced significant stress situations like divorce or widowhood and who didn’t have intimate emotional support the probability of breast cancer within 2 years increased by 900% (29, 30) Stress can induce chronic inflammation diseases or can exasperate some, for example rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis. (31) Chronic stress just like the negative emotional status (eg. fear, hostility, depression) raises the organism’s cortisol level which can lead to cardiovascular complications just like to immune problems. The positive emotional status (eg. calmness, satisfaction) leads to lower cortisol level. (32) What are those factors which can trigger depression, stress and negative emotional status more often? Primarily, solitude, unemployment, divorce, spouse’s or partner’s loss or unhappy marriage or family problems. Lonely people have higher blood pressure and higher cortisol level in the mornings and in the evenings. (33, 34) Marriage itself is not a guarantee for not being lonely. Emotional loneliness depends on the quality of the marriage and can be linked to lack of intimacy. Loneliness can be more powerful in marriage if the spouse has health problems, if the spouse doesn’t get emotional support from his/her partner, if they talk very rarely or if they have sexual problems. (35) Those people who live in an unhappy marriage are likely to become depressed with a 25 times higher chance than the people living in a happy marriage or divorced people. Generally the people who live alone are happier than those who live in an unhappy marriage. To struggle loneliness the quality of the relationship and their intimacy are the things that matter. The social relationships’ diversity and not the amount of relationships decreases the loneliness for example marriage, friends, neighbours, colleagues and belonging to different religious and social groups. (36, 37) Considering our health decreasing depression is the priority. It was stated after a randomized controlled experiment that physical training after 16 weeks is as effective in decreasing depression as modern antidepressant medications. (38) Physical training can also speed up recovery. Its positive effects on wound healing were proved by an experiment. (39) The regularly used antidepressant medications (SSRI) have harmful effects not only on the cardiovascular system but also on the quality of life and emotions. From this aspect the medical mushroom extracts’ and physical training’s antidepressant effects are very remarkable. Those people who are treated with antidepressant medications have decreased emotional intensity in most cases and it has occurred to them that their emotions disappear too. (40) The patients usually feel that their emotions are thoughts not emotions. The number of positive emotions decreases (happiness, joy, excitement, passion, love, rapture, devotion). They find less joy in the social events, hobbies, beauty, in the environment or even in music. In the case of some people who take these medications they decrease in attraction to their partner, family and feeling less joy can be side effects of their treatment. Not only the intensity of their positive emotions decreases but also the negative ones, they feel less sorrow, anger, aggression, fear, less shame. For a lot of people this significantly worsened their quality of life, as they feel the necessity of expressing negative feelings like sadness or anxiety as well. Most of the drugged people can’t cry when it’s time or they can’t react to the bad news in the right way. They feel they are being torn out emotionally. They experience themselves as an observer not as a participant. They characterise themselves as ‘zombies’ or ‘robots’ they feel decreased sympathy and empathy. They move apart emotionally from their family and friends and they don’t care about themselves or other people and their actions and their consequences so much. Many of them feel apathetic and unmotivated. Many of them care less about other’s opinions, while some of them feel less responsibility for their actions. Some people may hurt themselves during the treatment to even feel something. Some of them think that their personality is changing or even gets lost and they perceive themselves as an empty bubble. In some cases they feel a change of their personality after the treatment as well. The mentioned emotional side effects can be experienced with most antidepressant medications not only with the SSRIs. (40) As the antidepressant medications moderate the positive emotional status the harmful effects of depression can’t be decreased appropriately as according to the scientific surveys in some cases the positive emotional status has a stronger beneficial effect than the depression’s negative one. The positive emotional status decreases the occurrence of the palsy more than the depression increases it. (41) The positive expectation, the optimism decreases the death rates from cardiovascular diseases by 30% the risks of cancer by 46% and the death rates in common by 14% in the long run. (42) One of the side effects of the medications for depression, beyond obesity and diabetes, are the moderation of the different forms of the positive emotional status. Due to the fact that this is one of the most powerful tools to prevent mental illnesses our priority should be to choose the method which decreases depression without emotional side effects for example by physical training or by taking medical mushroom extracts because both of these methods can prevent or defer elderly brain diseases, dementia and even Alzheimer disease.
The author of the article is the developer of the first Hungarian neurotropic brain therapy which is recognised and practised in Germany, Gábor Varga.
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