Angina Signals Emotional Conflict

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Angina-prone individuals have dependency needs that they cover with aggressive bravado. Like individuals who develop heart attacks and hypertension, angina developers also suppress negative emotions.

Rather than express their rage against another person, they may shout, “You’ll be sorry if I die,” or “I’ll show that you are killing me,” and then proceed to produce anginal pain, in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Like the heart attack and hypertension developers, individuals who create angina are anxiety creators who have their anxiety conditions triggered by recent stressful events in their lives.

For example, a manager aged 55 years began complaining about a slight tightness in his chest, left shoulder, and left arm six months after a traffic accident. Medical diagnosis revealed that his angina pains were not due to a heart problem. Instead he was dissatisfied with the financial settlement.

Another person’s anginal pain began after he had his leg amputated. As he began to realise that emotions triggered his angina, his attacks lessened and finally disappeared.

Angina developing individuals have several habits peculiarly their own – they dream dreams with intense emotional conflicts and often convert their emotional conflicts into physical symptoms. Such a translation requires a lot of fantasy.

Consider the case of a manager suffering from anginal pain so intense that once, while they were reading a report the pain became so intense the pages of the report turned blank for them.

The cardiologist was unable to find any heart abnormalities to explain their chest pains, but eight years earlier the manager’s daughter died of leukaemia. At that time the manager suffered temporary blindness as if to say: “I don’t want to see this situation.” And when their colleague had a brain tumour, they began to experience excruciating headaches, in fear that they too might have a brain tumour.

As for the angina attacks, they began the day after their Chief Executive Officer was rushed to hospital with heart trouble. The manager identified with the executive’s problem and was especially distressed by it because they had relied on the CEO for many years. The attacks disappeared after the cardiologist clarified that the cause of the manager’s angina attacks was not due to a heart problem.


Knowing yourself and identifying the process that is really happening (being honest with yourself) by identifying their source and your response; is by itself a way to reduce or remove anxiety. Future WillWay programs will offer scope to increase self awareness, self knowledge and self adjustment.

Reading: Joan Arehart-Triechel. “Biotypes: The Critical Link Between Your Personality and Your Health” Times Books, New York, 1981.

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