Psychosomatic means mind (psyche) and body (soma). A psychosomatic health problem is a disease which involves both mind and body. Some physical diseases are thought to be particularly prone to being made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. Your mental state can affect how bad a physical disease is at any given time. To an extent most diseases are psychosomatic - involving both mind and body.
Psychosomatic disorder is a psychological condition that leads to physical symptoms, usually lacking a medical explanation. It can affect almost any part of the body.
People with this condition may have excessive thoughts, feelings or concerns about the symptoms — which affects their ability to function well. People with the disorder tend to seek frequent medical attention, becoming frustrated with no diagnosis. Behavioral therapy and stress reduction may help. Women report psychosomatic disorders about 10 times more often than men.
Anyone can have psychosomatic disorders at any age.
The exact cause for the evolution of psychosomatic disorder is unknown. Studies reveal that the physical disorders associated with mental stress are due to the hyperactivity of the nerve impulses sent from the brain to the other parts of the body, which can cause the secretion of adrenaline into the blood, leading to a state of anxiousness. This condition can be triggered by various life factors as follows:
- Stress influence: Persons who experience stressful events like trauma, abuse, frequent illness, fear, depression, anger, guilt, insecurity, and other difficult situations are also susceptible to this disorder.
- Family circumstances: Parental absence, the behavior of parents toward the child, and relationship difficulties are also major origins of psychosomatic disorders.
Psychosomatic disorders may be physical manifestations of anxiety and mood disorders, and especially of stress disorders following psychological trauma.
It is also known as Psycho-physiologic disorder. An improper stimulation of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the functions of the internal organs, is responsible for the evolution of this disorder and leads to impairment of the functional organs.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines psychosomatic as: of, relating to, involving, or concerned with bodily symptoms caused by mental or emotional disturbance.
It is well known that the mind can cause physical symptoms. For example, when we are afraid or anxious we may develop symptoms of anxiety. Each disease has its own treatment options. For physical diseases, physical treatments such as medication or operations are usually the most important. However, healthcare workers will usually try to treat a person as a whole and take into account mental and social factors which may be contributing to a disease.
Therefore, treatments to ease stress, anxiety, depression, etc., may help if they are thought to be contributing to your physical disease.