Psychosomatics of Colds and Flu in Adults and Children

“Put on a hat, or you’ll catch a cold,” caring mothers tell their children. The child disobeys and gets sick. However, mothers are often unaware that it’s not the lack of a hat but their very phrase that causes the cold. It becomes a suggestion for the child. But this is just one of the possible psychological causes of colds in children and adults.

Main Causes of Cold Diseases

Colds do not arise from being in a draft. To get sick, you need to inhale or swallow a virus. Whether the virus can survive and develop depends on the person’s immune strength. This brings us to the psychological causes of colds. Psychosomatics of a cold:

  • Overwork;
  • Dissatisfaction with oneself and life;
  • Dissatisfaction with work or school;
  • Exhaustion and apathy.

Imagine this situation: you really don’t want to go to work or school, dreaming of staying home and lying in bed. However, due to responsibility and diligence, you can’t do this. That’s when the tired psyche gets the idea: get sick, then you can officially stay at home. However, not everyone takes sick leave. Some, especially conscientious ones, swallow a handful of pills and go back to the unpleasant job, only exacerbating their physical and mental state.

Interesting Fact! The peak of colds occurs in spring and autumn. But this can also be explained from a psychosomatic perspective. In winter, everyone suffers from a lack of color, as gray shades and shorter days depress the psyche.

Psychosomatics of Cold Diseases

If a cold causes a sore throat, it indicates suppressed anger. A person is angry at someone but cannot express it. In the development of colds, a person’s suggestibility plays a special role. If they believe their immunity is weak or that they will inevitably get sick in autumn or when someone nearby is ill, it will happen.

Flu: Psychosomatic Causes of the Disease

To determine the exact psychosomatic cause of the flu, ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What problem does the disease indicate?
  • What are you trying to escape from?
  • What conflict have you been trying to resolve for a long time?
  • What can’t you, or are afraid to, admit to yourself?

Interesting Fact! If you live alone, the disease may indicate a need for solitude. Perhaps you are tired of social contacts.

Psychosomatics of Respiratory Diseases: Causes

The psychosomatics of ARVI are similar to that of the flu. The difference is that acute respiratory viral infections develop against the backdrop of unexpected stressful situations (fright, strong shock, fear, etc.). The disease develops quickly, with a rapid rise in temperature and worsening symptoms. A protracted illness without a high temperature develops against a backdrop of chronic fatigue and suppressed fear.

Psychosomatics of Respiratory System Diseases

Disorders in the respiratory system occur in both children and adults. However, certain diseases are more common in children, others in their parents. But all have psychosomatic prerequisites.

Adult Psychosomatic Respiratory Diseases

Adults often suffer from pneumonia and tuberculosis. Causes – old wounds and resentments, disappointment in life, fatigue, joyless existence. Events that trigger pneumonia:

  • Excess of duties, work without rest, feeling cornered;
  • Deep sorrow, loss, disappointment;
  • Feeling powerless, unable to influence one’s life or others;
  • Unmet needs, refusal of significant goods;
  • Guilt.

Interesting Fact! Typically, references to causes are noticeable in the patient’s speech: “can’t breathe fully,” “breath taken away,” “can’t get a breath,” “they won’t let me breathe,” “can’t breathe through.”

If dissatisfaction with the world joins despondency, pneumonia turns into bronchial asthma. This is more common in people with a victim mentality, unable to care for themselves, conscientious, obliging, hyper-responsible.

Tuberculosis affects selfish people. Dissatisfaction with life and negative emotions are the main psychological cause of tuberculosis. Everyone encounters the Koch bacillus, but not everyone gets sick, only those filled with hatred for others.

Psychosomatics of Colds in Children

The psychosomatic causes of children’s illnesses lie in the family climate, the relationship between parents, and the family lifestyle. Factors predisposing to children’s diseases:

  • Parents’ busyness at work. In attempts to provide materially for the child and themselves, parents miss the child’s more important need – for love, attention, tenderness. Illness becomes a child’s accessible way to attract attention and receive care.
  • Family discord, divorce, scandals. In this case, the child gets sick to unite the family.
  • Authoritarian parenting style, suppression of the child as a personality, punishments, prohibition on expressing emotions. Fearing strict parents, the child learns to keep everything inside. This manifests as bronchitis (“inhales” emotions and retains them inside), asthma, and rhinitis (suppressed tears, unspoken words). Suppressing emotions is especially dangerous for emotional children with a lively temperament.

Interesting Fact! Nosebleeds are rarely related to colds, but this symptom is common in children. The reason is an unmet need for parental love. The child thinks they are unloved. They feel unrecognized and unnoticed.

Psychosomatics of a Runny Nose

A runny nose, one of the symptoms of a cold, can sometimes be the only manifestation of the disease. Like other illnesses, a runny nose has psychological causes.


From a psychosomatic perspective, rhinitis reflects dissatisfaction with life. But the person cannot express this dissatisfaction for fear of consequences. Chronic rhinitis indicates a prolonged conflict.


Cause: the person doesn’t know how to act, doesn’t understand where to go next. Such people find it hard to prioritize, get lost among tasks to be completed. They struggle to make serious choices or change something in their lives. For example, it’s hard for them to change jobs, even if they dislike it.


The psychosomatic cause of sinusitis is a feeling of loneliness, a sense of hopelessness, and an inability to cope with life’s difficulties.

Children’s Runny Nose

Snot in children symbolizes uncried tears. Usually observed in children from authoritarian families. In such families, children are forbidden to express emotions, especially sadness and resentment. Boys hear the stereotypical statement: “Boys don’t cry!”

A Few Words About the Psychosomatics of a Cold on the Lip

A cold sore, though called a cold, has little in common with the cold we’re discussing. Lip inflammation is caused by herpes (virus). Some people are carriers of the virus (it sleeps), while others suffer from its activity. The answer lies in the person’s psycho-emotional state. Envy, anger, resentment, and other unexpressed negative emotions awaken the herpes virus.

Psychosomatics of a Cold – Causes

Some people get over a cold and ARVI in one day, others drop out of life for several weeks, and yet others are so psychophysically resilient that they don’t even get sick. Several factors influence the psychosomatics of colds: fatigue, suppressed emotions, hidden anger, hypochondria, attention deficit, negative attitude towards oneself and the world. Let’s take a closer look at them.


If you work a lot, are constantly tense and don’t rest, you are at risk for the psychosomatics of a cold. The disease becomes the body’s only chance to rest. Therefore, it allows germs to multiply.

Constantly Suppressed Emotions

If you’re constantly chilly, there’s another problem – internal tension due to the fear of expressing emotions. You may appear alive and emotional on the outside. You might even think you’re free in expressing feelings. But subconsciously, you’re hiding something.

Hidden Anger

Hidden anger raises the temperature. If you can’t express something, you start boiling inside. This causes a temperature rise. It can be anger towards a person or anger at a situation.

Constant Fears for Your Health

Hypochondria – a form of neurosis where a person fears getting sick and tries to avoid contact with germs by all means. But the opposite happens in practice: the person gets sick. The reasons are self-suggestion, weakened immunity due to constant stress, and a sterile environment (as a rule, hypochondriacs are obsessed with cleanliness, making their bodies completely resistant to microbes and bacteria).

Lack of Attention from Loved Ones

Illness not only allows for rest but also gets attention, care, support, and love from loved ones. If a person lacks this in life and doesn’t know other ways to satisfy the need, they subconsciously choose this option.

Negative Attitude

A negative attitude towards oneself and the world reduces the body’s stress resistance and leads to a constant drain of energy. Such people are always tired, lethargic, and sleepy. Causes of a negative attitude include:

  • Low self-esteem;
  • Dependence on others’ opinions;
  • Sensitivity to criticism;
  • Tendency to self-doubt and self-blame;
  • Desire to be good (due to chronic guilt and resentment).

Who is More Likely to Suffer from Psychosomatic Flu

Colds don’t always spread to those caring for the sick. In a family, if someone is sick, it’s not necessary that others get infected. Why does this happen? It depends on the psychological characteristics of the individual. Those who are tired of life’s tension get infected. Other predisposing features include:

  • Emotional instability;
  • Hyperactivity;
  • Transitional age;
  • Chronic diseases;
  • Unstable psyche.

Any overstrain (unpleasant or joyful) is perceived by the body as stress. The longer the tension lasts, the more the hormonal balance is disrupted. As a result, immunity weakens. People get sick more often under these conditions.

Risk Group

The risk group includes:

  • Children with emotional lability and hyperactivity;
  • Children with VSD and NSD;
  • Teenagers;
  • Children overloaded with studies;
  • Adults and children with mental disorders;
  • Adults with emotional disorders;
  • Adults working in harmful industries and overworked.

People with neurological diseases are always more likely to develop psychosomatics.

What to Do if You Often Get Sick with Colds

Frequent colds indicate insufficient psychological flexibility. It’s necessary to accept life’s variability, learn to adapt quickly to circumstances and move forward. Along with this, it’s important to learn to rest and enjoy life. It’s crucial to understand that proper rest is a necessity, not idleness.

But choose productive leisure (find a hobby, not just lounging on the couch) and try to free yourself from anxious thoughts about work and tomorrow during the rest period. To do this, you must be very engaged in the process, so it’s important to find a favorite activity that will become a haven.

Ways to Solve the Problem

To strengthen immunity, it’s important to deal with your worldview, get rid of grievances, and heal wounds. Consider whether you harbor negative feelings towards yourself, the world, or another person. If so, why and what bothers you. Or perhaps you dislike a certain situation. Then think about whether you can influence it. If not, you need to accept it for your health.

Other steps to stop getting sick:

  • Stop sacrificing sleep, weekends, personal interests for overachieving at work. Stop taking on others’ responsibilities. Learn to distribute workload rationally.
  • Allow yourself to express all emotions. Master socially acceptable ways of releasing anger, joy, resentment, love.
  • Stop instilling a mindset of illness in yourself. Strengthen your immune system, take vitamins, exercise, harden your body, and get enough sleep.

Important! Take your time, start with small steps. Day by day, deal with the negativity and clutter in your life. Clear your mind. To make it clearer and more visual, it’s helpful to keep a diary, conduct written analysis of situations and your reactions.

How to help a child or teenager cope with a cold:

  • Reflect on whether the child has conflicts at home or school, among peers.
  • Assess the psychological atmosphere at home. If conflicts often arise between parents, it’s necessary to adjust the relationship.
  • Learn to sincerely support and empathize with your child. Don’t dismiss their problems as silly. If a teenager talks about something, it’s truly important to them.
  • Find a common family activity that will help relieve tension.
  • Help the child find a hobby for personal self-realization.
  • Suggest visiting a psychologist.

Don’t pressure the child or impose your help. If they don’t want to open up, perhaps trust in the family has long been lost. In this case, it’s better to consult a psychologist.

Causes of Psychosomatics of Flu and Cold According to Psychologists

Psychosomatics is a modern and flexible direction. Authors’ explanations of diseases differ somewhat, so we offer an overview of theories from several well-known psychosomatics: Louise Hay, V. Zhikarentsev, Liz Burbo, V. Sinelnikov.

Louise Hay

Louise Hay considers flu a reaction to the negativity of others. Other triggers include suppressed anger and fury, fear and anxious anticipation of something. Additionally, exhaustion, mental clutter, resentment, and an overload of tasks contribute. Healing affirmation: “I allow my consciousness to relax peacefully. Clarity and harmony are present in my soul and around me. Everything is going well.”

V. Zhikarentsev

V. Zhikarentsev sees the cause in the desire to escape from others, to rest, to retreat from something. Also influential is the negative mindset of inevitable illness (“I always get sick in winter”) and fatigue. Healing affirmations: “I feel safe and securely protected at all times. Love surrounds and protects me. Everything is wonderful,” “I give my mind the opportunity to relax and be calm. Clarity and harmony reign around and inside me.”

Liz Burbo

According to Liz Burbo, a cold indicates that a person keeps a lot inside, unable to express emotions. Such a person is in constant tension, unable to relax. The illness is a sign that internal tension has peaked. In some cases, there’s a feeling of being used. To heal, it’s necessary to develop confidence, allow oneself to feel and express emotions.

V. Sinelnikov

According to V. Sinelnikov’s theory, flu and colds indicate that too many events have befallen a person, with which they cannot cope. Along with this, there are many unresolved conflicts and unforgiven grievances. An abundance of tasks and events leads to internal tension, irritation, and confusion. The illness gives the person a chance to rest, take time to reflect on the situation, and step back from conflicts.

Important! Like all psychosomatic diseases, colds and flu require a comprehensive treatment approach: medication and psychotherapist consultation. When sick, there’s an infection in the body that needs to be suppressed with antibiotics. But to strengthen immunity and prevent recurrent illnesses, it’s necessary to adjust your lifestyle.

Rate article