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Emotional disorders &


Tradition Chinese Medicine



Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.

You may experience 

  • panic, fear, and uneasiness, 

  • Problems sleeping.

  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Heart palpitations.

  • An inability to be still and calm.

  • Dry mouth.

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.


Depression, you may experience a sad or depressed mood, or an inability to feel pleasure, plus five or more of the following symptoms, for at least a two-week period

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness, 

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, including sex,

  • Difficulty concentrating and complaints of poor memory

  • Insomnia or oversleeping, Appetite changes, which may include weight gain or loss

  • Fatigue, lack of energy, Thoughts of suicide or death, Slow speech, slow movements.


Traditional Chinese Medicine and emotional disorders

The emotions are considered the major internal causes of disease in TCM. Emotional activity is seen as a normal, internal, physiological response to stimuli from the external environment. Within normal limits, emotions cause no disease or weakness in the body. However, long duration overwhelm of emotions become induce serious injury to the internal organs and open the door to disease. 

Excess emotional activity causes severe shen/mind/spirit imbalances, wild aberrations in the flow of qi and finally effect our zangfu organs. Once physical damage has begun, it is insufficient to eliminate the offending emotion to affect a cure; the prolonged emotional stress will require physical action as well. The emotions represent different human reactions to certain stimuli and do not cause disease under normal conditions.


The seven emotions in TCM are: 

Joy/ Anger/ worry/ Pensiveness/ Grief/ Fear/ Fright

Emotions can be experienced together or in alternate way. This explains the emtions of depression patient:  combinations of anger, pensiveness, worry and grief. Anxiety patient can experience combined emotions of fear, fright or pensiveness.



By its nature, anger causes qi to rise, leading to a red face and red eyes, headaches, and dizziness. Suppressed anger or frustration can lead to depression, indigestion or menstrual disorders. (Note all symptoms can be caused by other reasons also). 



The disorders from this emotion are not caused by happiness; rather, the imbalance comes from too much excitement or stimulation. A person may experience extreme outbursts of laughter. Such behavior results from the heart organ's inability to provide a stable resting place for the spirit. 



A person who worries too much "carries the weight of the world on her shoulders,". A very common emotion can cause digestive disturbances and eventually lead to chronic fatigue.   



Too much thinking or obsessing can cause a stagnation of qi. A person with this condition may exhibit such symptoms as poor appetite, forgetting to eat, and bloating after eating. In time, the person may develop a pale complexion from a deficiency of spleen qi. 



Grief affects the lungs, producing fatigue, shortness of breath, crying, or depression. Long during of grief slows down the qi and makes a people tried.



This relationship can readily be seen after an accident or extreme situation. Extreme fear can cause a person to urinate uncontrollably. Long-term fear can lead to a goldbladder qi deficiency.  A person is unable to make a decision. 



The "fight or flight" reaction causes an excessive release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys.  Chronic from fright/shock can cause a wide range of problems. Severe shock can have a long-term is evident in victims of post-traumatic stress syndrome. 



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