Open Journal of Medical Psychology

Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 2015)

ISSN Print: 2165-9370   ISSN Online: 2165-9389

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.48  Citations  

Hypermodern Hearts: What Makes Them Suffer and Become Ill?

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DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2015.43007    4,394 Downloads   4,879 Views  


In this research, we highlight the hypermodern individual, the ways he lives in the contemporary world and the psychosocial determinants involved in illness. We aim to reveal the impact of traumatic life events and the senses and meanings given by the patients to their pathologies. The research was carried out at two private hospitals in Brazil, in the years 2010 and 2011. The study is based on a qualitative method, through a semistructured interview with open-ended questions and the drawings-stories procedure, in an intentional sample, closed by saturation, during the period of hospitalization and right after leaving hospital (15 to 30 days). We used a qualitative content analysis and analysis of drawings under the framework of Analytical Psychology. Seven female patients that underwent surgery were the subjects of this research: two with Myocardial Infarction, one with Takotsubo Syndrome, three with Breast Cancer and one with both pathologies. Through the analysis of the interviews and the symbols presented in the drawings, we observed demands for hyperformance and hyperfection, linked with illness, when in excess. Traumatic life events, job stress, reactions to loss, and death of loved ones without the possibility of psychological elaboration may cause fragility and a lowering of the capacity of the immune system to react, causing damage to health. Through the symbolic trajectory of life, spontaneously presented in the drawings, we observed the three types of thinking in the structure of the psiqué which formed the basis for mental equilibrium: rational, symbolic and mythological. Infarction and breast cancer cause different impacts on women’s lives. Knowing how to deal with stressful events and being conscious of the meanings given to illness may contribute to making a better or worse experience in life. Such knowledge may be crucial for both primary and secondary prevention.

Cite this paper

Paiva, S. , Giglio, J. , Lima, C. and Silveira, F. (2015) Hypermodern Hearts: What Makes Them Suffer and Become Ill?. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 4, 67-81. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2015.43007.

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