With the remarkable advances in the field of medicine, the occurrence of communicable diseases and other infectious illnesses has been virtually cut in half over the last 20 or 30 years. On the reverse side of this, however is the striking fact that the number of people who are ill has actually increased.
In 1981, for example, between three or four times as many people reportedly suffered from illness as in 1955. Responsible for an especially large portion of this increase was psychosomatic or stress-related illness. During that 26-year period, the number of people suffering from emotional problems increased by more than threefold and those afflicted with cardiovascular diseases grew as well. In addition, the number of people suffering from gastrointestinal ailments almost tripled and cancer took its place as a leading killer.
Describing medicine’s change of focus in response to this phenomenon, one medical expert said: “Other than illness that is clearly traceable to bacteria or viruses, little is known about the causes of a majority of diseases. Most methods of treatment aim more towards lightening the symptomatic effects of illness rather than attempting to deal with the cause itself. In addition, in only a few cases the cause of such illness can be pinpointed to simply a single factor. Therefore, we are now moving towards methods of diagnosis and treatment that focus on isolating the deep-rooted cause of illness.” As a result, greater attention is now being paid to the medicine in which diagnosis and treatment take both the physical and spiritual aspects of illness into account.
Whether it be heart palpitations caused by worry, bronchial asthma triggered by emotional deprivation during childhood, neurological heart malfunction caused by the emotional shock of a traffic accident, high blood pressure caused by bouts with stress, or baldness induced by worry – such maladies, in which the state of one’s mind or emotions influences the functions of the body, are psychosomatic disorders, which are difficult to cure.
Neurologically induced dermatitis, excessive perspiration, rheumatism brought on by emotional stress, chronic asthma, colitis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, chronic abdominal pain, excess stomach acidity, heartburn, dullness of appetite, aversion to certain foods, irregular heart beat high blood pressure, migraine headaches, diabetes, insomnia, nervous breakdown and bed-wetting – these are but a few of the hundreds of different ailments now regarded as psychosomatic in origin, afflictions that are thought to account for a majority of the ailments suffered by modern adults.
We live in an age of spiritual or emotional instability. People are more worried and distressed, and this has led to an alarming increase in psychosomatic disorders. Day by day losing our human nature and behaving like thoughtless machines pushed forcefully through the rusted mechanism of the world created by us only serving to cause more distress than providing solutions or creating a sustainable future.