Psychodynamic and psychosomatic nature of essential hypertension

Psychodynamic and psychosomatic nature of essential hypertension and emerging homoeopathic remedies


Various authors have done the study on essential hypertension as a psychosomatic disorder; But this study attempts to demonstrate the connections between psyche and soma; study the significant life events, causative factors, dispositional qualities, psychological conflicts and defense mechanism used in cases of essential hypertension. Remedies matching this would enhance the knowledge of psychodynamic and psychosomatic nature of the remedies.

Keywords: psychodynamic, psychosomatic, homoeopathic remedies

Abbreviations: MIL-DIL-mother in law-daughter in law, OPD-out patient department, IPD- in-patient department, Hg – mercury.


Essential hypertension was one of the seven classic psychosomatic diseases for which psychoanalytical investigators have proposed psychodynamic etiologies. In considerable proportion of cases, the disease tends to be asymptomatic for prolonged time, hence also labelled as silent killer. Hypertension, this silent killer is estimated to affect 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025.[1] Modern civilisation has contributed to the stressful or traumatic life situations to which the organism cannot effectively respond. When combined with faulty lifestyle, disturbed equilibrium results in contributing to the development of psychosomatic disorder like essential hypertension, which is seen in 90% of cases and is a highly important public health challenge that remains, however a major modifiable cause of morbidity and mortality. Hence, this study attempts to understand the connection between psyche (mind) and soma (body) and the remedies matching these factors would enhance knowledge of the psychosomatic and psychodynamic of the remedies.


To understand the psychodynamic and psychosomatic relationship in patients with essential hypertension and study the emerging homoeopathic remedies.


  1. Understanding the psychodynamic and psychosomatic relationship in patients with essential hypertension.
  2. Studying the group of  homoeopathic remedies matching the psychodynamic and psychosomatic in patients with essential hypertension.

Material and methods

  1. Study setting: – Cases of essential hypertension from the OPD, IPD and peripheral OPD of Rural Homeopathic hospital (Centre of Excellence), Palghar district, Maharashtra, India.
  2. Sample size and selection of samples: 50 cases meeting inclusion criteria were selected by purposive sampling technique.
  3. Criteria

Inclusion criteria:

  1. Cases diagnosed with essential hypertension cases with stage 1 and stage 2- hypertension (stage 1: systolic 140–159 mm Hg, diastolic 90–99 mm Hg; stage 2: systolic 160 mm Hg, diastolic 100 mm Hg.).
  2. Cases above the age group of 20 years – 65 years.
  3. Cases of both sexes.
  4. Cases having significant life events.

Exclusion criteria:

  1. Cases with known psychiatric illness
  2. Study design (type of study): prospective qualitative case series.
  3. Tools used: life space table, psychodynamic and psychosomatic tool.
  4. Brief procedure:
    1. Identified cases as per the inclusion and exclusion criteria was taken up for study.
    1. The screening questionnaire for physician was used for identification of cases.
    1. Detailed case taking and the checklist to assess the conflicts helped in assessing the psychosomatic aspect.
    1. Cases processing were done and senior consultant gave prescription. 
    1. The emerging patterns of psychological conflicts, dispositions, causative emotions and defense mechanism seen in cases of hypertension were concluded.
    1. Correlation of the psychosomatic aspects in the cases with homoeopathic remedy was done.
  • Outcome assessment criteria
    • Identifying the psychodynamic and psychosomatic relationship in patients with essential hypertension.
    • Identifying the remedies matching the psychodynamic and psychosomatic relationship in patients with essential hypertension.
  • Statistical technique: The qualitative data was analysed by summarisation technique. Proportion, the mode was used for making a conclusion.

Observations and results

All data were analysed on the basis of objectives of the study.

  1. Pie chart representation of the gender wise distribution of essential hypertension:
  • Comparative line graph representing gender wise age group suffering from essential hypertension:

Males between age group of 46-50 have 10 cases and females 55-60 have 5 cases.

  • Tabular representation of significant life events, causative factors, psychological conflicts and dispositional qualities with the emerging remedies in cases of essential hypertension
Significant life event Causative  emotion  Psychological conflict Disposition Defense mechanism Remedy
Husband’s illness, dowry issue, criticised by authority, misuse of money by family member, extramarital affair, misuse of money by family member, death of son Anticipation, suppressed anger, mortification, vexation, greif [8] Breakage of bond with loved ones,   suppressed anger and dependency Irritable, reserved,anxious, sensitive to: scolding, comments, criticism [4,5,6,7,8]   Acting out, avoidance , suppression, rationalisation Natrium muriaticum [4,5,6,7,8] [7 cases]
Cheated by students, niece suicide, son being a special child Misuse of money by family member, cheated by relative Suppressed anger, fright, anticipation,, vexation [8]   Suppressed  anger and dependency,   role conflict,   Self- Image conflict Anxious, irritable, boaster, ambitious, image-conscious, manipulative [4,5,6,7,8, 11] Acting out, avoidance, displacement, identification, rationalisation, reaction formation, suppression Lycopodium [4,5,6,7,8, 11] [5 cases]
MIL-DIL – dispute, physical fight for money, death of colleague, no share in property division, criticised by family members Guilt, vexation, fear of death, indignation [8]   Anger outburst, hostile impulses and dependency   Irritable, obstinate sentimental, impulsive, sensitive to: opposition, comments [6,7,8, 9] Acting out Ferrum metallicum [6,7,8, 9] [5 cases]
Donation for daughter’s admission in school, son being a special child, death of father- family responsibility on his shoulders, dispute between family and his wife Anxiety about money matters, anticipation, vexation [8]   Suppressed  anger and dependency,   self- doubt conflict Anxious, fearful, indecisive, sensitive to: reprimand, comment [4,5,6,7,8, 9]   Suppression, rationalisation Calcarea carbonicum [4,5,6,7,8, 9] [4 cases]
Son being a special child, staying in a separate house with daughter’s children, death of husband, working in a new project Anticipation [8]   Acceptance and rejection conflict,   self- image conflict,   suppressed  anger and dependency Anxious, fearful, shy, image conscious [4,5,6,7,8, 12]   Anticipation, suppression Silicea [4,5,6,7,8, 12] [4 cases]
Bad news of husband’s accident, no share in property division, daughter ran away to dolove marriage Anticipation, disappointment [8]   Suppressed anger and dependency Anxious, fearful, irritable, attachment with family, fastidious [4, 6,7,8] Acting out, suppression, rationalisation Kalium carbonicum [4 ,6,7,8] [3 cases]
Money stuck up Anxiety about money matters [8] Self- doubt conflict Irritable, anxious, reserved [6,7,8] Anticipation, suppression   Bryonia [6,7,8] [2 cases]
Death of father, Son’s marriage Grief, contradiction [8] Self- doubt conflict,   anger suppressed and dependency Ambitious, abusive, irritable, jealous [4,5,6,7,8]   Acting out, introjection, suppression Nux vomica [4,5,6,7,8] [2 cases]
Criticised by authority, MIL-DIL dispute Indignation [8] Suppressed anger and dependency Sensitive to: scolding, criticism [4,6,7,8, 10] Suppression Staphysagria [4,6,7,8, 10] [2 cases]

Other emerging remedies seen in single cases were Calcarea arsenicosa, Ferrum phosphoricum, Kalium aresenicosum, Kalium silicicum, Lachesis, Magnesium muriaticum, Naja, Natrium suphuricum, Sepia, Sulphur and Veratrum album.

Discussion and conclusion

Significant life events seen in majority of cases of essential hypertension were illness or death of loved one, financial issues, and dispute with family members. The common causative emotions underlying theses events were suppressed anger, anticipation and grief. Psychological conflicts majorly seen were suppressed anger and untoward dependency towards a person/thing. The common defences mechanism used were suppression, acting out and rationalisation. Emerging remedies seen in majority of cases were Natrium muriaticum, Lycopodium clavatum and Ferrum metallicum.

This study helped to understanding the significant life events, the underlying causative emotions, psychological conflicts generated, dispositional qualities and defense mechanisms used  in each case of essential hypertension and the matching remedies, thus enhanced the knowledge of the psychodynamic and psychosomatic nature of the remedies.


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Dr Neha Patel

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