Emotions and Organic Illness

No. 13 To identify and accept the interrelatedness of emotions and organic illness 
By: Melissa Parrenas

A risk factor is defined as something that's likely to increase the chances that a particular event will occur. Sometimes, this risk comes from something you do. It is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection. They are considered as correlational because it is not proven to be the cause of any disease. For example, it does not mean that if you are old, you will get Tuberculosis. However, since Mycobacterium Tuberculosis infects those who have low immune system, so those people with extreme ages, the very young and the very old are more prone to this illness. Researches only use Statistical analysis in order to come up with assumptions that these certain characteristics of a person make her or him catch the disease.

2 days ago, my Ninang (my godmother during the sacrament of Confirmation for us Roman Catholics) who lives across our house, went to me several time for her BP to be checked. I heard stories that she has troubles on her relationship, but I did not ask my mother since I don’t want t be nosy. I know though that she has been taking some burdens on her shoulders.

Ninang told me she is having episodes of headache throughout the day and can hardly fall to sleep, so she was able to sleep for about 3 to 4 hours only. Her usual Blood pressure is 120/80 mmhg and that time it increased to 140/100. She took her maintenance on that day, and she has been taking it continuously. She said her doctor once ordered that she take catapres on that BP level so she also asked me if she can now get a dose of it. Her pulse rate is 90. Her RR is 19. She also complained of tightening of the muscles on her left arm up to her chest. Knowing that she is stressed, I told her to relax, take slow, deep breaths, filling her lungs with lots of oxygen and I’ll have her BP rechecked after 15 minutes. I also told her to drink water since it does lower down the level of stress. I said if her muscle tightens, then she should stretch it every now and then. If she showers, I told her to bathe in warm water to relax her muscles. If my mother is around, she also reinforced to Ninang that she should relax because it is her that will be on the losing end if she would not calm down. Then in the kitchen when it’s the mother and I are left, she asked me how Ninang is, and I said I rechecked her BP and it went down to 130/90 probably after following some of the interventions.

Mother confirmed to me the real story. You see my ninang had been in a relationship with this woman for 25 years. Now the woman said she wants freedom and needs to straighten her life due to personal reasons. I remember, in a symposium, that those who are in the third sex, are more prone to depression when it comes to relationships. Now I understand why my ninang had been experiencing above signs and symptoms.

Then I remember module 1 entitled “Adaptive and Regulatory Mechanisms” in one of our subjects, N204.  In one of the topics “Body’s Response to Stressors” it was discussed that stressors are stimuli that affect life processes and alter a person’s adaptation and development. Stressors come from a vast sources and one of them is emotional like anger, psychological likea depression because of a break-up etc. When we are plunged into these kinds of situations, then some of the stress responses or effects are alteration of sleep, stiffness of the neck and back, headache, muscle tension, increasing heart rate, and increasing blood pressure.

If a person cannot adapt to level of stress, then a disease may occur. With this is mind, I told Ninang that she has to calm down and try to widen her understanding so she can see a bigger picture and she has to be open-minded in order for her not to focus on her anger. The stress will be there longer for recovery from this failed relationship is not that easy and will take her some time to adjust and think about what happened. I told her probably things happen for a reason and that forcing someone to stay is not a good idea because it might just make the relationship unhealthy and may worsen things. I told mother then that she should be more available to Ninang and let her verbalize her feeling because having someone listen to problems, is unloading half of the burden. 

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