Sickness and guilt: what is their relationship?

Sickness and guilt: what is their relationship?

Illness and guilt are a macabre combination that affects people whoin addition to dealing with health problems, both physical and psychological, must endure being sick.Questions like "why me?" Or "am I strong enough?" Usually occupy the minds of those affected. This can lead to real emotional problems. It is also common to believe that one gets sick because one is weak.

Guilt is a very particular form of fear.If it is cultivated since our earliest childhood, it can block our emotional development, causing health problems. Self-condemnation and self-invalidation is unique to people who feel guilty about their illnesses.

Otherwise,the feeling of guilt is normally an unconscious program that conditions our lives.It makes us live situations of suffering. He hides in self-destructive behavior, in sudden and inexplicable failures, in the loss of valuable relationships, in sources of work and success. If, in addition to that, we suffer from an illness, everything can get worse.

"Out of ninety diseases, fifty are born of guilt and forty of ignorance."

-Paolo Mantegazza-

Illness and guilt in mental disorders

If there are certain diseases that are particularly related to guilt, they are mental disorders.They do not receive the understanding and support of people with physical problems, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis.

Mental disorders, like other diseases, are not chosen by people.In addition to the suffering and misunderstanding that many people feel, there is fear and contempt for others, who are not able to understand what is happening to them.

Psychological pain and emotional pain are less dramatic than physical pain. But they are just as common and more difficult to bear. People with mental disorders are not monsters.

The psychiatric stigmais perhaps the most significant factor that negatively affects the process of therapeutic research and rehabilitation.It interferes with access to treatment and compliance with medical prescriptions,making it more difficult for effective social reintegration and a return to normal life.

In addition,Stigma and social exclusion contribute significantly to individual suffering.This can worsen the evolution and prognosis of the disease. On the one hand, it does so by taking the form of an individual attribute that links the person with mental disorders to certain undesirable characteristics or negative stereotypes. And, on the other hand, it functions as a socially constructed product through the adjudication of stereotypes and rejection by the group or society in general.

"Mental health needs a lot of attention, it's a big taboo that needs to be tackled and resolved."

-Adam Ant-

Illness and guilt: why do the sick feel guilty?

How can a person feel guilty about his illness? How can a cancer patient feel guilty for not tolerating treatment? These are questions that are hard to answer. The explanation could be the following: in situations that have a high emotional content,emotions are more persuasive than logic.

These feelings can sometimes be justified, as in the relationship between lung cancer and smoking. But in many situations, what is clear is too much of an attempt to control ourselves and what is around us. In these cases, we may even be victims of the illusion of control, which makes us feel responsible for things that are not in our hands.

People who suffer from this bias feel responsible for everything and everyone. Therefore,they stress when they can not control everything and wrongly attribute that responsibility.This type of reasoning leads sick people to feel responsible and guilty of their illness.

"The feelings of guilt are very repetitive, they repeat themselves so much in the human mind that you end up tired of hearing them."

-Arthur Miller-

As we see, sickness and guilt often go hand in hand. Especially in the field of mental disorders. Fight the stigma associated with these diseasesmust be one of the top priorities for health professionals and those who suffer from it.

Suffering is at the root of many mental disorders

A large part of mental disorders are rooted in suffering, concretely in the definition we give of this emotional state. Learn more
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