I am so fed up with people – medical or otherwise – telling people they are making themselves sick by being sad. Like we need another guilt trip to put ourselves through when we are sick? True, some lifestyle choices can make you sick (e.g. smoke and you may get lung cancer) and getting stressed out can make you more vulnerable to heart disease.
But being sad? Again true some life factors other than illness can make you sad. However, a recent UK study kills the myth that being sad makes you sick. Apparently the opposite is true. Makes sense. If you have a serious illness – terminal, chronic or even acute, are you really going to be jumping for joy? Are you really going to be positive with no negative feelings allowed? Get real if you think that. Maybe experiencing your sadness because you are sick is better for you and might help you to move on and come out the other side. I’m not saying get depressed or wallow in sadness. Talk to close friends. But these friends have to be the type that will listen, not judge, not tell you what to do.
The study was published in The Lancet online Dec. 9, 2015, and on focused 1.3 million women (mean age 59 years) in the UK “to establish whether, after allowing for the poor health and lifestyle of people who are unhappy, any robust evidence remains that happiness or related subjective measures of wellbeing directly reduce mortality.” After taking into account certain factors, the Study Findings were:
In middle-aged women, poor health can cause unhappiness. After allowing for this association and adjusting for potential confounders, happiness and related measures of wellbeing do not appear to have any directt effect on mortality.”
So, those who tell us when we feel sad to pull up our socks, be positive and get out of the dumps, should maybe check out the research. If you are sick you don’t need to add a guilt trip. That won’t make you better and apparently being sad may not kill you.
Only Child Writes