Blood Pressure and Emotional Cues

Now there is another reason to keep that blood pressure in check.  New research suggests that high blood pressure can lead to an inability to recognize and process emotions especially happiness, sadness, anger and fear.

A recent study conducted by Clemson University psychology professor James A. McCubbin and colleagues has shown that people with higher blood pressure have reduced ability to recognize certain emotions in others.

This can prove difficult in situations where reading other’s facial expressions are crucial such as at work or in meetings.

“Emotional Dampening”  as McCubbin has dubbed it, causes individuals to  respond inappropriately to anger or other emotions in others.

McCubbin believes that the link between dampening of emotions and blood pressure is its involvement  in the development of hypertension and risk for coronary heart disease, the biggest killer of both men and women in the U.S.

An interesting finding of this study is that McCubbin’s theory of emotional dampening applies to positive emotions as well.  “If you have emotional dampening, you may distrust others because you cannot read emotional meaning in their face or their verbal communications,” he said. “You may even take more risks because you cannot fully appraise threats in the environment.”

Do you think this preliminary research needs to be ongoing before making such conclusions? Or Do you fully agree perhaps because you know someone or are that someone who has high blood pressure and who shows signs of  “emotional dampening”?

2 responses to “Blood Pressure and Emotional Cues”

  1. Allison says:

    I feel like I have seen examples of this, but not enough or extreme enough to say that was the definite answer. I mean, how many people are out there that are emotionally dampened but their blood pressure is fine? Interesting study though!

  2. Greg jones says:

    Please help me!! I presented with BP 230/150. It took a year of medication experiments to get it under control. In the mean time every meaningful relationship I have has been destroyed. I think this is my problem. I am trying to salvage my marriage if anything and need to know if I can get more information on this.

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