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How Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Affect Cancer and Other Chronic Illnesses

Our society is becoming more and more stressful. Even within the family unit, many are experiencing stress like never before. Western society is under intense pressure from various sources; the political climate, economic uncertainties, questionable ethics from those in authority and even from religious entities. We face a crisis of values which neither the educational institutions and in many cases, the family unit have not prepared us to deal with emotionally.

This situation has a significant impact on our health. Human emotions are very powerful. When we are not able to manage and balance our emotions, we are left with inner scars that deeply affect our body and mind. We may sense that something is not right within us but we may ignore the signs hoping that things will get better with time. But this is not the case. We are using the ancient “ostrich technique”, that of denying the evidence of what is happening to our inner person. Depression, stress and anxiety surface when we do nothing and fail to acknowledge the problem. These elements are not simple emotions but rather mental states that accumulate over the years, behind them there are many deep feelings and conflicts which are yet to be resolved.


This is a consequence of feelings of resentment from the past that remains unfinished and pending.


The natural reaction to a difficult or challenging situation that we are currently facing.


The apprehension that comes from fear or the possibility of something negative happening in the future that follows mental patterns that we have acquired in the past.

These three powerful mental states can dominate our lives and can seriously affect our health and wellbeing, leading us down a path that can cause us to make mistakes that exacerbate the situation. We must settle these issues by recognizing and accepting them with the help of proper psycho-emotional techniques. These techniques help us to develop our emotional intelligence and, in reality, should have been something we learned from young. Our educational systems have focused on advancing intellectual capabilities with the objective of being more competitive and comparing ourselves to each other. Now is the time to change this by learning to handle our emotions so that they no longer harm us; an education that helps us to develop inner strengths.

Consider the dangerous effects of the three negative emotional elements:

They can block or inhibit the immune system leaving us more exposed to infections and even cancer.
The risk of diabetes can be increased when negative emotions are left unchecked, especially if we have a genetic predisposition. The pancreas is one of the organs most sensitive to mental states.
We are at greater risk of mental illness because negative emotions affect the production of essential and non-essential brain amino acids. For example, they provoke dopamine deficiency which affects our serotonin levels and can enhance obsessive behavior, which increases depression.
Plaques and thrombi are formed more easily in the arteries which put us at a greater risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. The density of the blood increases with the accumulation of red blood cells that should be released into the bloodstream.
Increases heartburn that leads to ulcers.
Due to stress and anxiety, cortisol levels, adrenaline and noradrenaline levels can increase dangerously generating a state of constant alarm within our nervous system. This can lead to nondegenerative diseases and even cancer.

These and many other factors can trigger mismanaged emotions for years.

In Western countries as well as many in Eastern countries with a similar socioeconomic model, emotional stress and anxiety, along with depression are the most significant factors triggering the 7 most prominent causes of death: suicide, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and Coronary arteries, accidents, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis.

According to statistics from social research centers around the world, tens of millions of people die annually from diseases associated with these mental states, the so-called “psychosomatic diseases,”

At Budwig Center, we know how important it is to treat these emotional disorders and we have a program that teaches patients to follow a more balanced lifestyle and to develop mental patterns to help further their recovery. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more.

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