Psychosomatic Causes of Stomach Diseases

Stomach diseases are among the most common psychosomatic illnesses. People may visit a gastroenterologist for years, battle their habits, and monitor their diet, but there will be no significant effect as long as stress factors are alive. The connection between psychosomatics and stomach, as well as other gastrointestinal organs, is strong. If there’s stomach pain, it indicates an internal conflict according to psychosomatics, but this is not the only possible cause.

Etiology of the Phenomenon

Recall how often you say, ‘this makes me sick,’ ‘I need time to digest this,’ ‘it’s eating away at me,’ ‘I feel a knot in my stomach,’ ‘so anxious I can’t swallow,’ etc. These phrases point to psychological problems and possible gastrointestinal issues.

In psychosomatics, as in physiology, the gastrointestinal tract is responsible for digesting food. But here, it’s about spiritual nourishment: emotions, feelings, desires, thoughts, impressions. Any digestive organ issues indicate that a person cannot accept or digest something.

Causes of stomach diseases in children have their specifics. Often, they indicate an unfavorable psychological climate in the family. Frequent parental quarrels, instability, and harsh punishments make a child constantly feel vulnerable. In an overprotective upbringing, the main contradiction provoking ulcer development is the need for freedom combined with a pronounced need for dependency, care, and protection from someone.

Stomach Diseases

Stomach diseases develop against the inability to cope with circumstances, to get out of a difficult life situation. Also, the inability of a person to ‘feed’ on love, self-acceptance, and self-improvement plays a role. This inability leads to seeking support in food, provoking overeating and exhausting the stomach. However, other factors contribute to the development of psychosomatic gastrointestinal diseases.


Gastritis is a consequence of chronic stress and strain. Frequent conflicts and disputes, a stream of not always pleasant information, traffic jams, contradictions at work – all this adversely affects the stomach. Gastritis means that a person could not digest some emotions. Too much negativity has accumulated. The situation worsens when a person cannot express their emotions.

Suppressed emotions that can lead to gastritis:

  • Anger,
  • Resentment,
  • Irritation,
  • Rage,
  • Fear of change,
  • Aggression,
  • Shame.

The pain, burning, and other discomfort in gastritis ask to pay attention to the accumulated negativity. To notice and finally release the emotions, getting rid of mental slag.

In women, gastritis indicates an inability to express love for themselves and others. However, the need for love remains, but the person chooses a distorted way of satisfaction – food. Overeating, consuming unhealthy food with high levels of fats and sugars, leads to gastritis. Healing requires understanding oneself, learning to express emotions, and openly discussing relationship problems.

In men, the disease often develops against the backdrop of uncertainty about the future and self-doubt. Such people are convinced that nothing good awaits them.

Stomach Ulcer

In ulcers, the body literally eats itself. Psychosomatically, a stomach ulcer is an indicator of a person’s tendency to self-absorption, self-torment. It means there is some thought or emotion gnawing inside.

Ulcers often develop against a background of gastritis. Thus, they share similar psychosomatic causes, particularly the suppression of negative emotions. But in the case of an ulcer, a person not only suppresses them but also feels inadequate, constantly blaming themselves for something.

Other factors include:

  • The feeling of envy, constantly eating away inside;
  • The contradiction between the need for freedom and the desire to be cared for;
  • The desire to look better in someone else’s eyes;
  • Anxiety as a personality trait;
  • Fear of being abandoned, rejected;
  • The need for leadership and inability to realize potential;
  • Suspiciousness and hypochondria;
  • Tendency towards competition and resistance;
  • Unkindness.

According to Liz Burbo, stomach and duodenal ulcers indicate an inability to resist someone or something. Valery Sinelnikov sees the cause of ulcers in a person’s indecision. Louise Hay talks about the accumulation of negative emotions inside a person, feelings of inadequacy, and the desire to get rid of something agonizing.

Interesting! The psychosomatics of ulcers and tumors, cancer are very similar. This is because ulcers usually precede the development of oncology.


Heartburn is the result of suppressed fear and anxiety, chronic dissatisfaction, excitement, sadness. It can also be a consequence of phobia and aggression.

Psychosomatics of Stomach and Intestines as Main Gastrointestinal Organs

It has been established that stomach problems are more common in people with a certain character. Traits typical of such a personality type:

  • Anxiety;
  • High level of demands;
  • Excitable type of nervous system;
  • Lack of self-love;
  • Tendency to self-flagellation;
  • Insecurity in oneself and one’s actions;
  • Suspiciousness;
  • Dependence on others’ opinions;
  • Introversion;
  • Secretiveness;
  • Unsociability.

These character traits are precursors to other problems: suppression of emotions, avoidance of conflicts, inability to solve problems, multiple internal contradictions. This eventually leads to gastrointestinal issues: nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting, bowel disorders, bleeding, indigestion, polyps, etc.


Stomach problems arise from suppressed emotions: anger, irritation, resentment. Anger causes increased acidity, irritability leads to the appearance of erosions, resentment – ulcers. Psychosomatics of stomach pain, spasms, and bowel disorders: reaction to stress, internal non-acceptance of something. Psychosomatics of stomach cancer sees the cause in suppressed resentments.


Intestinal problems arise from two psychological reasons: a pessimistic view of life, fear of material insecurity. However, psychosomatics differ depending on the section:

  • Disorders in the small intestine – inability to see virtues and positives in every life situation, tendency to exaggerate problems, focusing on details. It can also indicate a person stuck in routine, unable to see the full picture.
  • Disorders in the large intestine – fear of change, conservatism, inability to assimilate new things, even if old beliefs hinder personal development. Many unfinished tasks.

Intestinal spasms indicate psychological tension that arises when needing to change an old judgment to a new one or master a new behavioral model. It reflects a life jam and an indicator of internal fear – the person fears losing something familiar. For the same reason, bloating occurs. It also indicates that the person is in a difficult life situation and sees no way out.

Psychosomatic Causes of Stomach Diseases

Psychosomatics as a field of psychology continues to evolve, so different explanations for the causes of diseases are encountered. Generally, they are similar but also have some differences. Let’s consider the theories of the most famous and authoritative psychosomatists of our time.

Louise Hay’s View

According to Louise Hay, the cause lies in negative thinking and a lack of self-love. The psychologist advises fighting the problem with affirmations – positive self-suggestions to be recited in the morning and evening. For each gastrointestinal disease, Louise has chosen her affirmation:

  • Gastritis: ‘I love myself. I approve of myself. I am always safe.’ The cause is a feeling of uncertainty and doom.
  • Heartburn: ‘I breathe freely, fully. I am safe. I trust life.’ The cause is strong fear.
  • Ulcer: ‘I love and approve of myself. My soul is calm. All is well.’ The cause is fear and a sense of inadequacy.
  • General affirmation for stomach and intestinal diseases: ‘Life does not harm me. I assimilate new things at any moment of the day. All is well.’

According to Louise Hay, the main cause is the fear of the new, fear of change. People with such problems are not ready to make decisions, don’t know how to make mistakes, often suffer from perfectionism.

Zhikarentsev’s View

According to Zhikarentsev, gastrointestinal problems are caused by an inability to ‘digest’ and accept something new. Apprehensions, fear, anxiety, worry, inability to learn lessons and assimilate them also contribute. For stabilization, the psychosomatist advises using the following affirmation: ‘Life is in harmony with me. I assimilate new things at every moment of my life. Everything is wonderful. I easily digest what happens to me in life.’

Liz Burbo’s View

According to Liz Burbo, gastrointestinal disruptions occur against internal resistance. It indicates that a person cannot accept someone or something. Such a person poorly adapts to new conditions, unable to accept new ideas or demands. Due to their rigidity and conformism, they can’t even consider new ideas, instantly rejecting them as bad and dangerous. Any changes in life can knock such a person off track.

V. Sinelnikov’s View

According to V. Sinelnikov, stomach diseases speak of an inability to accept new life experiences, to see opportunities for personal growth and life improvement in difficulties and changes. These are irritable, anxious, and restless people who fear everything new. They are wary of any information, not to mention new acquaintances, tasks, etc.

Oleg Torsunov’s View

According to Oleg Torsunov, stomach diseases are caused by laziness, irritability, apathy, and cruelty. Laziness slows down the functioning of organs, suppressed irritation leads to inflammation, apathy results in a reduction of organ activity, muscle atrophy, and decreased acidity. Cruelty and selfish motives provoke inflammation, leading to gastritis.

Paths to Healing

To cope with stomach diseases, it’s necessary to eliminate negativity and add more bright colors to life. Finding a favorite hobby is a priority. Hobbies not only bring joy and pleasure but also contribute to personal development, increase efficiency, and stimulate the production of happiness hormones. All this collectively has a positive effect on overall immunity and health.

Other steps to eliminate negativity include:

  1. Developing positive thinking, i.e., perceiving all events as potential opportunities for growth.
  2. Accepting and loving yourself and others. This means recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, accepting what cannot be changed and changing what can be. It’s also important to learn to accept the characteristics of other people.
  3. Learning to value yourself and others. Every person is inherently valuable, unique, and beautiful. There’s something good in everyone.

Important! Positive thinking is not synonymous with optimism. Optimism is dangerous, a blind attitude towards reality. Positive thinking involves accepting both good and bad events, but seeing opportunities for growth or experience in every adverse event.

How to Deal with This Problem

The main precursor to the development of stomach diseases is the fear of change. Any changes in life are accompanied by uncertainty, sometimes feelings of helplessness and danger, fear of failure. But without changes, personal development and expansion of the comfort zone are impossible. Therefore, it’s necessary to develop positive thinking: difficulties are inevitable, but I will cope with them. And if I don’t, I will gain experience, draw conclusions, and manage next time.

The second precursor to gastritis, ulcers, and other diseases is suppressed negative emotions. It’s important to find a rational outlet:

  • Painting,
  • Sports,
  • Dancing,
  • Creativity,
  • Running,
  • Breathing exercises,
  • Punching a bag,
  • Anti-stress attractions,
  • Listening to music,
  • Other activities.

Of course, watching your diet is crucial. Only a healthy lifestyle, diet control, and increased stress resistance will help permanently solve the problem.


No pills or injections will help until a person realizes and acknowledges the problem. Treatment depends on the root cause. If the issue is passivity and anxiety, then these need to be addressed. If it’s due to insufficient psychological flexibility, then that needs to be tackled, etc. To identify the exact psychological cause of stomach disease, it’s best to visit a psychologist. The specialist will help identify conscious and subconscious causes and develop a treatment strategy and tactics.

For complete healing, it’s necessary to change thinking, rid oneself of negative attitudes, and of course, express emotions. Indecision, anger, irritation, fear, envy – all these eat away at the gastrointestinal organs. The process may take months, perhaps years. But it can be accelerated by undergoing a course of psychotherapy. Among psychotherapy methods, psychoanalysis, hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, autogenic training, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy have a positive effect.

Important! Despite the psychosomatic roots of the problem, medication intake is indicated. This can be both symptomatic therapy to alleviate the condition and restorative therapy. Only a gastroenterologist can prescribe treatment and select medication. In the absence of organic lesions, medication can be discontinued.

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