[ NEWS ]








By Nicole Manger
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 24, 1998

Don't repress the stress, speaker says

Students who repress emotions during stressful times may be at greater risk for health problems, a UA associate psychiatry professor said yesterday.

"Don't completely block out, forget, get drunk or use drugs (when dealing with stress)," Dr. Richard Lane said. "Try to stay in touch with emotions. It is the only way to get over it (disappointment)."

Lane, a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health award for his research, gave the Faculty Lecture Series speech titled "Some Like it Hot and Some Do Not " to about 30 listeners yesterday in University Medical Center's DuVal Auditorium.

He said guzzling beer to forget a disappointing love life can be a health hazard.

Emotions - coping mechanisms that adapt the body to change - can indicate pleasant and disappointing events in one's life, Lane said.

Using a brain-scanning device, Lane has isolated areas of the brain activated during specific emotions. By showing study participants pictures selected to induce emotional responses, he scans the brain to reveal the "hot," or active areas.

His study revealed that specific areas in the brain lobes react to positive or negative emotions. Repeated brain scans revealed that the frontal lobes are responsible for motivational behavior.

How people deal with their emotions links Lane's research to health studies.

"The link between emotions and health originates in the brain, but we don't know the mechanisms of linkage yet," he said.

A study found that 50 percent of Type D men - those with emotionally-repressive personalities - who have had heart attacks, had repeated heart attacks or died.

Similar breast cancer studies found that repressors are almost three times as likely to die than those who respond to their own emotions.

Learning how the brain deals with emotional responses is the first step in treating people who repress or lack control of their emotions, Lane said.

For college students who face emotional situations daily, blowing off exam anxieties can turn into physical health problems, he said.

The Faculty Lecture Series is the fourth Monday of every month in UMC's DuVal Auditorium.

(LAST_STORY)  - (Wildcat Chat)  - (NEXT_SECTION)