The Role Of The Mind In Autoimmune Diseases

The role of the mind in autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases remain a mystery to science. Until now, their symptoms and their development are known, but what causes them is still uncertain. Most of them can be treated, but not cured. There are hypotheses about it, but none of them have been fully proven. What we do know is that the mind plays an important role in these pathologies.

There are autoimmune diseases that are relatively well known, such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Others are slightly less common, such as lupus erythematosus, autoimmune thyroiditis, or Guillaume-Barré syndrome.

What’s puzzling is that autoimmune diseases are the result of the body’s attack on itself. The body behaves as if its own antigens are viruses and attacks them. In other words, the recognition system no longer recognizes itself and no longer distinguishes between itself and foreign objects. This occurs in people who are perfectly healthy and medicine still doesn’t know why.

Autoimmune diseases and psychosomatic mechanisms


Science says that autoimmune diseases are the result of multiple factors, with genetics playing a major role. However, so far there is no hard evidence that this is true. Instead, the mind has been proven to play a decisive role when it comes to these kinds of illnesses.

At present , autoimmune diseases are treated as psychosomatic disorders by most experts. This means that they are disorders that originate in the mind and are shaped by the body.

Some argue that they are the result of essential inability to articulate emotions. Others believe it is a defensive response to the emotional disintegration. Other theories categorize it as “body delirium” arising from depression or in response to an unresolvable conflict.

There are realities that exist in people’s minds and that find a way to grow as disease in the body.

Affection in autoimmune diseases


Autoimmune disease launch a self-destruct mechanism. It is the body itself that fails to recognize the antigens it produces and begins to attack itself. It is as if what the self is carrying is threatening or dangerous.

The mind is very important in these processes. In fact, a new discipline has emerged to address these diseases known as psychoneuroimmunology. The fact is that autoimmune diseases are often not only chronic, but also debilitating  and can even lead to the death of a person.

Studies suggest that people with these diseases often suffer from major depression, but this is not always clear. In other words, it can even happen to people who seem cheerful and energetic, but carry a great discontent deep down inside, who generally don’t even see the person themselves.

Another common trait is an inability to recognize emotions. Either through excessive intellectualization or rationalization of situations or because they are people who want to have everything under control and experience emotions as a threat to their autonomy.

Towards a solution…

Autoimmune diseases are insidious and a person’s quality of life is significantly affected. They are usually painful, difficult to adjust and offer little hope. The worst part is that those who suffer from it go to the doctor looking for answers and they usually just keep quiet and offer palliative solutions, which is not always effective for their suffering.

Western medicine has traditionally followed the belief that the body and mind are separate and sometimes contradictory realities. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that health and well-being are integral concepts, with the physical realm as important as the mental.


The way out for someone with an autoimmune disease is not always a pill, a vitamin or a miracle doctor that restores health. Not that they should reject these solutions, but they often require intervention by mental health professionals as a basis for treatment.

All diseases contain an emotional and mental component, but when it comes to autoimmune diseases, this factor is absolutely essential. Resistance to the treatment of the disease as part of the psyche is certainly a fundamental reason why they do not find relief from their physical suffering. A resistance that arises from the misconception that those who suffer from a disease with a mental basis are not strong enough, and which is supported by another misconception: this pain was invented by the patient himself.

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