In the evolution of the human being we have developed the ability to modulate and expand the most instinctive emotional response as we can see it work in other animal species. Much of this control consists in the ability of thought to know, elaborate, calculate basic emotional stimuli, creating sophisticated relationships between the upper cortex of the brain and the amygdala, where the harsher and elementary schemes are activated.
The ability to put emotion under the command of symbolic thinking is what distinguishes a person with great emotional culture from another who has developed in a degraded environment (unstructured environments, alcoholic relatives, violence, abuse, etc.) has not received a minimal education, thereby causing the appearance of very primitive and socially problematic behaviors (intolerance, selfishness, inability to tolerate frustration, violence, etc.) which reminds us that acquired culture is a result between innate intellectual capacity and an adequate environment that fills it with content and stimulates qualitative complexity.
Education awakens and builds musical, mathematical, sporting, literary abilities, but it also provides us with a language to express the feelings that help us to name, clarify, differentiate, communicate, etc., thus favoring a fairly fine modulation such as to allow us to live in society.
At home we have the first school of feelings. The adults read in us like an open book and they are dictating sentence: “ the child has become angry … ”, “ look how he likes … ”, “ wait a bit, don’t be so impatient. … ” They are interested in discovering our own inner world as if it were a lush garden full of wonders to name.
For their part, children are eager to rehearse what they imitate and learn, experiencing with joy the successes reported by the active version of what has been passively ascertained.
This whole natural learning landscape can be obscured because adults do not show particular interest in the emotional life of the child, limiting interventions to care, hygiene requirements, study and decorative behavior.
Also, on the side of children, they may suffer from lack of confidence to explore their feelings, thinking that they will not interest, that they do not matter or are worth commenting on, getting used to a silent living, without noise, without the need to expand , submitting canine to the routine expected of them. Since they are so good, nobody cares for them either.
We can observe in different patients suffering from hydrocephalus disease similar symptoms of disorientation. But, under more careful inspection, we will observe that the cultivated person will use loose words of a certain degree of refinement, his tone of voice will be more conciliatory and calm, and he will even look polite immersed in his confusion. On the contrary, people who were more primitive before the disease will emit profanity and have unpleasant behaviors. We will also find aggressive behaviors in “ officially ” educated people, but even though they are competent specialists in a subject, from an affective point of view they are as illiterate as the most coarse.
When the emotional life is expressed with all its crudeness, without temperance or respect for others and so following self-usefulness, we speak of an impulsive and primary person.
On the opposite pole is the person who represses his feelings, trying to disconnect from his interior, persuading himself that “ nothing happens ”, pretending that there is no feeling that, however much he feels, it is worth being contemplated ( I must not be sad, I must not be distressed or suffer, my behavior must always be impeccable).
This model is the spontaneous way in which many men pretend to be virile, never crying, not being “ weak ”, enduring it all with golden indifference. He is bitten, endured, a feeling that could be called, recognized, written in a newspaper or communicated to a friend at a time of outpouring, but that the person is not allowed, committed to his iron discipline.
The next step away from the emotional is represented by the fact that we are already so far away from what we feel is no longer recognized as a psychic content, but rather as a perception of a strange body process.
The life of a hypochondriac would be said to appear as normal, without problems or great stress or having the total integrity, and everything would go great if it were not for the presence of incomprehensible physical discomforts that never seem to fit into the official medical cadres. The nausea, dizziness, dizziness, lightheadedness are so obvious that it would be absurd not to think that they are due to any mysterious disease, since anxiety is not seen or recognized as the cause of symptoms.
While a person prepared to recognize their emotions could easily label boredom, loneliness, lack of stimuli, sexual deprivation, lack of affection, resentment or frustrated ambition, the hypochondriac suffers from an alextimia or inability to find meaning. of emotions, he only notes headache, stomach aches, joints, a strange tiredness, mysterious muscular discomforts, disturbing internal sensations, and all this makes him suspect a disease that coincides in some aspects (although later the doctor will find more differences what similarities).
The tormented relationship with the body betrays the dark presence of what, unable to say, elaborate or nuance, only gets attention on the surface of the skin, in muscle contraction, in spasms without sob, eyebrows without thought, pain No wound to produce.
Since what the hypochondriac is looking for is in the direction of the disease, it is also baffled to see that the medical diagnosis is never resolved, nor does any drug cure it of what it does not have.
Some doctors hate these kinds of patients who seem to waste their time and constantly question their professionalism. But the message of “ you have nothing ” denies the existence of what the hypochondriac sees with the evidence of his senses, and makes him hesitate between the idea of being crazy hallucinating things that do not exist and the idea that they have something so rare that the doctors themselves are unaware (something that evokes the possibility of being a “ lost case ”). The hypochondriac is forced to fight against the current in pursuit of the dignity of a true state of sickness, but that truth seems to constantly slip away, it does not come from consecrated authorities, nor from the experiences of loved ones, nor does it appear in encyclopedias, nor is it easily deduced from the biased deductions on the map of the inconvenience.
This situation changes when we finally find a true disorder, Hypochondriasis! . It is a disorder where the difficulty of connecting with the intimacy of the felt and thought come together, psychosomatic signals of a high level of anxiety, fanciful rumination on pathological pictures, feelings of misunderstanding and contempt and the constant temptation to be aware of our own rebel body .
Psychotherapy tries to find the ways of developing and discovering emotional life, the recognition of unresolved needs, the control of obsessive and circular ideas about the disease, the multiple aspects of psychosomatic symptoms, proper mood management and of the person’s ability to enjoy.