Studies: Cure mental suffering with cuddling

Studies: Cure mental suffering with cuddling

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Oxytocin can support the therapy of mental illnesses

The treatment of mental disorders is often extremely difficult. Here, the so-called cuddly hormone oxytocin could possibly contribute to significant improvements in therapy in the future. "The hormone could alleviate the symptoms of various mental illnesses and thus help patients with autistic disorders, borderline personality disorder or anxiety disorder," said Professor Dr. Dr. med. René Hurlemann from the University Hospital Bonn in a press release on the 61st Congress for Endocrinology in Bonn.

Oxytocin has been shown to play an important role in social and sexual behavior and, for example, helps mothers build a bond with their child. Prof. Hurlemann reports that the animal model also shows that the hormone reduces anxiety. What is new, however, is the realization that “oxytocin can be therapeutically useful in social disorders and mental illnesses.” The hormone is suitable for supportive treatment in a wide variety of mental disorders.

Anxiety disorders particularly widespread

"Anxiety disorders with stressful physical and psychological symptoms are the most common mental illnesses in Europe", according to the announcement of the working group of the scientific medical societies about the upcoming 61st congress for endocrinology in Bonn. The treatment is usually carried out with medication and / or cognitive behavior therapy. But the number of new drug developments has been stagnating for years, says Professor Hurlemann. The experts have high hopes for the hormone oxytocin. "The hormone could alleviate the symptoms of various mental illnesses," emphasizes Prof. Hurlemann,

Cuddle hormone relieves social stress

According to the researchers, previous studies have shown that oxytocin can reduce social stress, increase trust and social skills, and reduce the response of the almond kernel complex (amygdala). The latter is responsible for emotions such as fear and anger. Researchers around the world are currently investigating in over a hundred studies how oxytocin works in various mental illnesses and what dose would be appropriate. “Your own body produces the hormone as a natural building block. When used as a nasal spray, it can migrate into the brain and act as a fear-suppressing agent, ”says Hurlemann.

Oxytocin only suitable as a supplement to therapy

According to the expert, "the results on oxytocin and its role in mental illnesses with impaired social skills are very exciting." Oxytocin could perhaps complement the treatment of patients with mental disorders. However, it is clear that "the hormone must always be combined with psychotherapy", adds Professor Dr. Matthias M. Weber, media spokesman for the German Society for Endocrinology (DGE) and head of endocrinology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Thinking the way into practice

“We already know a lot about individual hormones and their effects on the psyche. The example of oxytocin shows how important research is that has translational approaches, that is, thinking the 'way into practice', according to the conclusion of the DGE Congress President Professor Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Schweizer from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: 100: Attraction - How to Sustain It and How to Revive It - with John Gottman and Sue Johnson (July 2022).


  1. Nawfal

    the useful piece

  2. Ethelbald

    You have hit the spot. There is something about that, and it's a good idea. I am ready to support you.

  3. Dylan

    rarely .. .. We can say this exception: i)

  4. Kay

    Many thanks for the information. Now I will know it.

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