The aim: was to assess the level of subjective control of emotional states among patients treated for dermatological and gastrointestinal somatic diseases compared to those with depressive and anxiety disorders. The results were related to the analyzed dimensions of emotion regulation in healthy subjects.
Materials and methods: The reports of the conducted studies were compiled for a total of 310 people, including 120 patients diagnosed with a somatic disease (psoriasis, rosacea, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux), as well as 96 patients diagnosed with depressive disorders and 30 patients with anxiety disorders. The control group consisted of healthy subjects (64 individuals). To assess the psychological variables analyzed, the subjects completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire developed by J. Brzeziński.
Results: The study showed that the patients suffering from a chronic somatic symptom disorder, similarly to those treated for depression and anxiety disorders, differed from the healthy individuals in most aspects of emotional control. The patients with dermatological and gastrointestinal diseases differed statistically significantly from the patients with depression and the patients with anxiety disorders in relation to three dimensions of emotional control. Patients with a somatic disease are characterized by higher emotional and rational motivation, lower emotional resilience and lower emotional arousal.
Conclusions: A chronic disease co-occurs with the emotional sphere of a person’s daily functioning. Regardless of the diagnosis in terms of somatic disorders and mental illnesses, the way in which emotional states are controlled can be an important factor in the onset of the disease, coping with it as well as the treatment process.