A disorder of both mind and body where physical symptoms develop from mental factors.
Severe cases can grow from depression,anxiety or stress and manifest into severe physical symptoms or diseases.Other symptoms. It can also cause smaller symptoms, like.headaches, the shakes or chest pain.
What to do
While medical doctors should be consulted for the physical symptoms, it’s important to visit a psychiatrist/clinical psychologist to find the root of the issue and to have therapeutic intervention.
What is psychosomatic illness: When illness really is all in the mind
These are conditions in which a person suffers from significant physical symptoms – causing real distress and disability – out of proportion to that which cannot be explained by medical tests or physical examination.
The physical symptoms of somatoform disorders are real.However, they have psychological roots rather than physical causes. The symptoms often resemble symptoms of medical illnesses. Psychosomatic illnesses can be classified in four types:
1. Body dysmorphic disorder is an obsession or preoccupation with a minor or imaginary flaw, such as wrinkles, small breasts, or the shape or size of other body parts. Body dysmorphic disorder causes severe anxiety and may impact a person’s ability to function normally in daily life.
2. Conversion disorder is a disorder in which a person experiences neurological symptoms that affect his or her movement and senses and that do not appear to have a physical cause. Symptoms can include seizures, blindness or paralysis.
3. Hypochondriasis is an obsession or fixation with the fear of having a serious disease. People with hypochondriasis misconstrue normal body functions or minor symptoms as being serious or life threatening. For example, a person with hypochondriasis may become convinced that he or she has colon cancer when having temporary flatulence after eating cabbage.
4. Somatization disorder is a disorder in which a person experiences physical complaints, such as headaches, diarrhoea, or premature ejaculation that do not have a physical cause.
What are the causes of psychosomatic symptoms?
The exact cause of psychosomatic illness, is not known. Somatoform disorders tend to run in families and may have a genetic component. Somatoform disorders may be a coping strategy, a learned behaviour, or the result of a personality characteristic. In certain constitutional organic predisposing factors, in addition to the psychic factors involved, repressed psychic energy is discharged physiologically.
How is psychosomatic illness treated?
After ruling out physical causes of symptoms, it generally focuses on establishing a trusting, supportive relationship between Client and primary care doctor or refer to a psychiatrist for help.
Learning to manage stress in a healthy way through stress management techniques is important part of therapy. Psychosomatic disorders resulting from stress may include hypertension, respiratory ailments,gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, pelvic pain,impotence, frigidity, dermatitis, and ulcers. When this occurs, treatment can be aimed at providing symptomatic relief and helping people live normal lives.Medications can be used to help provide relief from symptoms, such as headache,fatigue, pain, and digestive problems.
- Drug therapy -Anti anxiety, Anti-depressant are majorly used and prescribed by doctors.
- Cognitive - behaviour therapy - May be effective in relieving some of the underlying psychological factors that are causing your physical symptoms.
- Exercise and Yoga – Starting from simple jog to doing pranayama are also effective in keeping the mind and body healthy.
- Good and healthy diet- What you eat has a direct impact on your mind’s thinking and feeling, so decide the diet.
- Positive thinking – To let oneself away from negativity it is mandatory to practise the art of positive thinking.