Ventilatory response to CO2. II. Studies in neurotic psychiatric patients and practitioners of transcendental meditation

Author: Singh BS
Conference/Journal: Psychosom Med
Date published: 1984
Other: Volume ID: 46 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 347-62 , Word Count: 218

The prominence of respiratory symptoms in patients with neurotic psychiatric disorders is noted and the literature on the control of respiration is reviewed to attempt to explain this finding. A previous study demonstrated a positive correlation between the ventilatory response to CO2 (S) and neurotic personality traits in a group of normal subjects. This study attempted to follow up this finding and hypothesized that a group of neurotically disturbed patients would have a higher S value and a group of individuals who practiced a calming technique such as transcendental meditation (TM) would have a lower S value than normal subjects. The second hypothesis was confirmed, but not the first, in that the neurotically disturbed patients had the lowest mean values for S of the three groups, rather than the highest. Particular characteristics of the sample of psychiatric patients cast doubt, however, on the validity of this finding. Three additional findings of this study were that anxious, depressive, and hyperventilating subject groups were no different from one another in terms of S values; that very experienced TM practitioners (sidhas) could significantly lower their ventilatory response to CO2 in the meditating state as compared to the nonmeditating alert state; and that the S value did not increase in two male subjects with endogenous depression after successful treatment with electroconvulsive therapy.