Psychosomatic Causes of Rhinitis, Sinusitis, and Sinus Infections

Psychosomatics, a discipline at the intersection of medicine and psychology, explores the unity of soul and body. According to this theory, all emotional experiences, psychological shocks, external and internal conflicts manifest through somatic ailments. This includes rhinitis, where psychosomatics can help identify the exact cause and expedite recovery.

Adult Psychosomatics of Rhinitis

Rhinitis occurs due to infection. However, there are times when a person encounters bacteria and viruses, but the body successfully combats them. In such cases, other factors may influence: reduced overall immunity, hypothermia, climate change, vitamin deficiency, and of course, psychosomatics.

Psychosomatic causes of nasal congestion and rhinitis in adults include:

  • Anger, irritation, and other negative emotions;
  • Fatigue, exhaustion;
  • Negative thinking and self-perception (disrupts metabolic processes, causing vascular spasms and swelling);
  • Panic, depression, other adverse mental states, and disorders (lead to hormonal imbalance, disrupt the immune system);
  • Psychological barriers and contradictions;
  • Criticism and humiliation from others;
  • Disappointment and grievances;
  • Prolonged conflicts and unexpressed grievances, other negative emotions;
  • Feelings of powerlessness and danger;
  • Dissatisfaction with life;
  • Feeling of loneliness. Allergic rhinitis often occurs against a backdrop of stress. Constant tension can cause a malfunction in protective systems, leading the immune system to see allergens in everything and fight against them.

Important! A positive, open, and friendly person satisfied with their work and relationships is more prepared to fight viruses.

Child Psychosomatics of Rhinitis

Psychosomatics of rhinitis in children:

  • Authoritarian parenting (suppressing the child’s personality, desires, needs, and interests);
  • Overprotection and excessive control over the child;
  • Parental anxiety and “inherited” hypochondria;
  • Conflicts between spouses (the child’s illness can unite parents);
  • Emotional coldness of parents (illness allows attracting attention, receiving love, a new toy).

Interesting Fact! Nervous rhinitis occurs more frequently in children than adults, due to the fragility of a child’s psyche.

Varieties of Rhinitis and Their Impact on the Psychology of Illness

Rhinitis is a symptom of many infectious and viral diseases. It is believed that each disease corresponds to a specific personality type, and each type of rhinitis has its psychological causes.


People prone to rhinitis often share a certain psychological type. Traits typical of such individuals include:

  • Hypersensitivity;
  • Vulnerability;
  • Excessive susceptibility;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Self-doubt;
  • Tendency to “make a mountain out of a molehill”;
  • Hyper-responsibility.


Psychosomatic causes of sinusitis:

  • Pain,
  • Fear,
  • Anger,
  • Hatred,
  • Other negative emotions. Causes of chronic sinusitis include self-pity and guilt. Anyone can develop sinusitis and other nasal diseases when faced with difficult life situations. Inflammation results from unresolved internal contradictions, and nasal problems reflect a person’s shaken self-confidence.


Circulation symbolizes the flow of life energy through the body. Bleeding indicates the departure of joy from life, the loss of energy, and the fading of the individual. This is often preceded by feelings of being unloved and unacknowledged.


Psychosomatics of rhinitis: Insecurity, denial of personal potential. Rhinitis is more common in bright, talented, creative individuals who suffer from external pressure.


The cause of sinusitis is irritation towards someone close. It can also indicate intolerance of a certain situation and loss of life direction (conflict of direction). Affirmation for healing: “I declare that harmony and peace always fill me and the space around me.”

Explanation of the Causes of Rhinitis by Renowned Psychologists

There are four general psychological causes of rhinitis:

  1. Internal Conflict: The person has to be someone they are not, or pretend to be someone they are not.
  2. Fears, Negative Thoughts, Hypochondria: If a person expects to get sick, it will happen.
  3. Unfulfilled Need for Love, Attention, Care: Illness provides material and moral benefits.
  4. Chronic Guilt: Such a person constantly seeks punishment for their sins, often imaginary or imposed by others.

Let’s see how renowned psychosomatic specialists interpret the causes of rhinitis.

Opinion of Louise Hay

According to Louise Hay, rhinitis, swelling, and runny nose reflect internal crying, grief, unshed tears. The soul cries for help through rhinitis. Deeply hidden experiences and emotions burst out. Exacerbation occurs against a backdrop of strong emotional upheaval. Additional triggers for rhinitis development according to Louise Hay:

  • Old resentments or dissatisfaction accumulating;
  • Suppressed emotions;
  • Depression, unwillingness, or inability to live;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Prohibition of living for one’s pleasure. Affirmation for healing: “I love and pity myself as I like.”

V. Zhikarentsev on Rhinitis

V. Zhikarentsev believes rhinitis occurs in those who need recognition and approval. Rhinitis reflects an internal cry, a plea for help and love. The sufferer feels unnoticed, unloved, unrecognized, and disrespected. Affirmation for healing: “I love and approve of myself. I know my true worth. I am beautiful.”

Lise Bourbeau

The nose symbolizes inhaling life. According to Lise Bourbeau, rhinitis indicates that a person cannot live life fully, enjoy each day, and satisfy their desires. Nasal congestion suggests intolerance of a situation or person. Rhinitis also occurs when adapting to unfamiliar conditions or confined spaces, such as a child’s adaptation to kindergarten. Causes of rhinitis according to Lise Bourbeau’s theory:

  • Inability or incapacity to enjoy life;
  • Presence of unpleasant or dangerous people in one’s surroundings;
  • Difficult life situations with no apparent exit;
  • Restricted conditions and circumstances, being in confined spaces;
  • Feelings of confusion and loss;
  • Worrying over trifles;
  • Anger at oneself and the situation due to confusion (not knowing what to do and being angry with oneself);
  • Misunderstanding oneself.

What to do:

  • Relax, stop blaming and tormenting yourself over trifles;
  • Allow yourself to experience all feelings and emotions, let them out;
  • Avoid trying to do several things at once;
  • Don’t blame others or the situation for your difficulties;
  • Identify your needs and priorities;
  • Take responsibility for your life and consider how you can rectify the situation.

For healing, it’s important to eliminate dependency on others, stop taking offense over trifles, develop a habit of immediately solving problems, not accumulating them. It’s vital to learn how to relax and change the old lifestyle that led to the illness.


The nose reflects a person’s achievements and sense of self-worth. According to Sinelnikov, rhinitis reflects low self-esteem, self-devaluation. The person does not recognize their uniqueness, significance, and value. They can’t live as they wish. The reasons for this lifestyle vary, but are often due to indoctrination and suppression by others. The individual and their environment suppress their needs, causing deep internal experiences.

How to Resolve the Problem

Even if you believe the cause of your rhinitis is psychological, it’s still important to consult an otolaryngologist or a general practitioner. This is particularly crucial if you’re experiencing other cold symptoms like hyperthermia, general weakness, purulent discharges, coughing, sneezing, etc.

From a psychological perspective, to eliminate rhinitis, one must address suppressed emotions and past issues. It’s crucial to let go of resentments, as old wounds and unshed tears often become the root of the illness.

Key actions for treating rhinitis and preventing relapses:

  1. Use self-analysis and work with a psychologist to change your attitude towards the past and present.
  2. Get rid of negative memories, avoid situations that cause emotional tension, or change your attitude and perception of these situations.
  3. Find as many sources of positive emotions as possible, minimize the impact of stress factors.
  4. Leave relationships that suppress you as a person. Avoid people who demean and insult you. Learn to defend your dignity, and don’t let others insult you.
  5. Learn to control your emotions and physical reactions. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are beneficial for this.
  6. Find outlets for negative emotions. There are many socially acceptable ways, such as sports and dancing.

If a child is suffering, parents should review and modify their behavior. It’s essential to improve family relationships, give the child more attention and love.

Important: To consolidate the results, it’s helpful to undergo physiotherapy procedures. During periods of stress, you can take herbal calming remedies. More serious medications (antidepressants, tranquilizers, sedatives) should only be prescribed by a psychotherapist. Do not self-medicate!

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