Magazine article USA TODAY

Repressed Emotions Lead to Depression

Magazine article USA TODAY

Repressed Emotions Lead to Depression

Article excerpt

Women with congestive heart failure who repress their emotions, especially anger, are more likely than emotionally expressive women to experience symptoms of depression associated with knowledge about their disease, according to research published in Heart & Lung. Coping styles of women in the study influenced how depressed or anxious they felt. The less they talked about or expressed their emotions, the more likely they were to have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

When researchers examined the influence of knowledge about their illness on the patients' mental well-being, they found that some with heart failure felt worse emotionally when they had more information about the disease. For those individuals who tend to deny their emotions, less information is better. For them, certain types of knowledge actually can lower their emotional quality of life.

The findings of this study suggest that clinicians should consider patients' individual coping styles when educating them about their illness. For instance, women who cope by denying their emotions might become particularly distressed by information that provokes fear--such as learning about the increased risk of hospitalization as a consequence of not taking medication or exercising enough. …

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