Friday, July 29, 2005

Emotional Longevity

More fascinating evidence of the connection between mind and body: A long term study of HIV positive gay men found that the men who concealed their sexual history contracted AIDS and died at a significanly higher rate than the men who told the truth about their sexual history and the men who made up lies about their sexual history. Apparently the act of keeping secrets is bad for your helth, and even lying is better for your health than keeping secrets.

Another study was conducted on men and women whose spouses had died, either by accident or suicide. The hypothesis was that the people whose spouse had committed suicide would experience worse health in the year following the suicide. The results shot down the hypothesis. Instead the main indicator of health was the widow/widowers willingness to discuss the loss, and the spouse of the suicide victim was actaully more likely to discuss what had happened and consequently experience better health. The study found discussing the loss was beneficial and ruminating on it was detrimental.

Dr. Anderson also cites studies that show a connection between "emotional disclosure" and immune system function, mood, GPA, frequency of doctors visits and re-employment after losing a job. Fascinating stuff!

(ps If you think this stuff is as interesting as I do I've linked to Amazon in the title, so you can go snatch up a copy.)


Crystal said...

Kimmy, this is interesting stuff. As I told you a little last night. I know that when I am upset about something I said (that was stupid) or something someone said to me (that hurt me)if I don't talk about it and I just keep it inside I literally make myself physically sick. I get headaches, and nauseous, I can't sleep, I feel tired all sorts of things. I am sure the anxiety, guilt, and stress of the whole situation is doing much more damage to my health than I really know. That scares me a little bit.

You know what Joyce Meyer talked about this too in her Battle Field of the Mind book.

Interesting post!

Kim Traynor said...

The author of the book had a similar experience. He took a job at Harvard while working at the NIH and had to keep his leaving a secret for two weeks. Durring this time he experienced flu like symptoms and sleeplessness.

Kim Traynor said...

It reminds me of Battlefield of the Mind too.

Friar Tuck said...

I am really wanting this book. But I must resist least until my book buying fast is over.....this book buying fast is harder than I thought.

Crystal said...

Remember when you were on CD buying fast Kim?


Kim Traynor said...

You mean when I became unemployed, ha ha! At least that was the only time I was faithful to any kind of book or CD fast...I do try from time to time though.