Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression


cynicism“Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others’ apparent motives believing that they are selfish in nature and/or displaying that themselves. A cynic may have a general lack of faith or hope in the human race or in individuals with desires, hopes, opinions, or personal tastes that a cynic perceives as unrealistic or inappropriate, and therefore deserving of ridicule or admonishment. It is a form of jaded negativity.

Is a person free to be a cynic? Most definitely. Does being a cynic have negative consequences? Other than rejection by others who find the negativity of the cynic to be burdensome, the cynic may actually run health risks.

Disease of our bodies can be marked by emotional changes; a familiar example is the impact of thyroid disease upon mood.

We study and demonstrate that mood can alter how we sleep, eat, concentrate, make decisions and exercise judgment. The interaction of mind and body is the field of psychosomatic disease. We study the impact of our emotions upon blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, abdominal complaints, headache and even our willingness to engage in effective health behaviors like diet and exercise.

Obviously, our emotions and their impact upon our physical health is both fascinating and complex yet becoming increasingly into focus.

More recently, there was a study on the impact of cynicism. “The findings of this study propose that psychosocial and behavioral risk factors may be modifiable targets for prevention of dementia (and that) it may thus be possible to improve life quality by attempting to change people’s attitudes to a more positive direction.” Neurology. Published online May 28, 2014.

Clearly, addressing and/or treating cynicism is a viable means of preventing disease and preserving health. Unchecked the deleterious effects of cynicism upon health is continuing to be documented.


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