Benefits of illness in psychology

The primary benefit is the benefit that the symptoms of any disease bring to a person.

This phenomenon can be described as follows - a person suffers from a series of problems, internal conflicts that he himself cannot resolve.

At this time, our body can unconsciously switch unresolved psychological problems to the body - creating a symptom of some disease, which is offered to a person as a less energy-consuming way to get out of an internal conflict. This is an internal component of the primary benefit.

The external component is manifested in the solution of interpersonal conflicts. For example, a pressure surge may become a reaction to an acute, repeated quarrel.

Real life example: You do not want to go to the robot in the morning and experience psychological discomfort. The subcortex of the brain accepts our request and in the morning provides a list of symptoms of otitis media, bronchitis, and so on.

As a result, your conscience is clear and you enjoy the benefits of your painful condition.

But over time, a person may develop dependence on a "beneficial" illness, which in turn can lead to the development of severe psychosomatic diseases. Basically, the habit of solving problems through illness develops at an early age and this is greatly influenced by an unhealthy environment in the family (constant conflicts between parents). When a child gets sick, parents immediately forget about their unresolved questions and focus on him. The child, in turn, adopts such a technique, which leads to incessant chronic diseases that become the main tool for attracting attention.

How to solve such a problem is to devote more time to the child when he is healthy, and less time when he is sick.

How an Adult Copes with Primary Benefit Addiction:

1. Identify the problem that emotionally overrides all others.

2. Write down any primary benefits you receive.

3. Ask yourself how you can get the same benefits in a different way, or whether you are willing to give up each of them.

4. Try to dig deeper into the problem and the feelings associated with it. If the problem is with another person, talk to him and share your feelings.

5. Be honest with yourself and others, and then you will find a way out without resorting to illness.


Secondary benefit is the benefit that a person receives when painful symptoms have already formed the disease. It stimulates the consolidation of the disease and psychological resistance to healing. As well as the primary manifests itself externally (advantages in interpersonal relationships) and internally (satisfaction of narcissistic needs).

At the level of secondary benefit, the symptoms of the disease are not consciously fixed as something pleasant, cementing the connection between the disease and the pleasant consequences of it. A person will "hurt" as long as there is a meaning and an unmet need in it.

Types of secondary benefits:

-Temporary withdrawal from an uncomfortable situation (for example, headache as a reason to extend the vacation.

⁃ The ability to get the missing portion of love, care and attention from the environment.

⁃ Comfortable conditions for the redistribution of psychic energy.

⁃ Incentive to reevaluate oneself as a person and correct behavior patterns (the disease warns of the wrong way of life)

⁃ Reducing the level of demands from others.

Examples of secondary benefits in life.

1. "Honest" blackmail - a sick mother is ready to die of illness, so that instead of only more often to see her son who is busy with his family.

2. Personal unrealization of a person - a woman created phobias for herself as a fear of dying from a heart disease, although she was in excellent shape in order not to strive for anything under the guise of a disease.

3. Unwillingness to solve internal problems - a person deliberately overloads himself with routine work, sleeps and eats badly in order to suffer and avoid global problems.

4. Secondary benefit of the victim - in this case, a person of a socially disadvantaged status (for example: a drug addict) continues to engage in his addiction, avoiding thoughts about the future and self-development, and the “rescuer” attached to him (for example, a relative) sees in his salvation the meaning of life without deliberately resist the recovery of the "victim".

To summarize, the search for secondary benefits is nothing more than a manifestation of laziness, fear and fear of responsibility.