Repressing Emotions Is a Risk Factor for Liver Disease

23 February, 2017

The most consensual thinking in recent years has insisted in the use of reason above every emotion. Thus, we have been raised to downplay the importance of emotions and their adequate expression. People tend to mold their emotional expression into socially accepted norms, which can imply repressing or denying certain emotions.

Some emotions have been categorized as negative by society. Some of these include anger, sadness, pain and fear. An example of this can be found in some of the phrases we have all been listening to since our early years. These sayings are transmitted culturally, and they have become a part of our most profound thoughts.

It’s common to hear expressions such as, “If they see you crying, they are going to think that you are weak.” Or “If they see you angry, they are going to think that you are a bitter person.” “Control yourself, don’t cry”, “Men don’t cry”, etc. These thoughts were transformed into dogmas and, thus, we distorted the expression of our own feelings. As a result, we predisposed ourselves to some physical illnesses, and among them are liver diseases.

“If you close your heart to feelings and emotions, you are leaving yourself out of the truth.”

Emotional repression harms our physical health

Denying or repressing emotions which are culturally biased, such as fear, sadness or rage, won’t make them disappear. No matter how much dirt you throw on them, they will remain. When we repress emotions, denying their free expression, the effect of expression and movement which is inhibited is instead channeled within ourselves.

Thus, for example, when we repress rage or fear, that muscular tension should be experienced in the outward-facing muscles. These muscles intervene in the typical fight or flight response. Instead, this tension is redirected within. That tension is then transferred to the internal muscles.

In the long run, the tension that accompanies emotions, which was repressed, ends up expressing itself in other forms. Such as, for example, contractions or muscular rigidity, neck and back aches, gastric illnesses, headaches and even liver diseases.

Emotions which are trapped inside a person seek their own resolution and expression. This forms part of the nature of emotions, because they are made to be felt and expressed.


Controlling your emotions is a somewhat illusory experience in certain circumstances. Also, its achievements are very deceptive. A very precarious balance is maintained behind the facade of “control” that the individual constructs. Since attempting to maintain control will only accomplish a transitory transformation of the extreme behavior. Sooner or later, the repressed emotions are going to need to come out.