Psychosomatic Disorders

Psychosomatic disorder is an illness that connects the mind and body. This occurs in such a way that the physiological functioning of the body is affected by the psychological tensions that either causes disease or worsen the pre-existing disease in a person.

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.

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Etiology

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:

Influence of psychological factors

If a person has a common medical condition like essential hypertension, then psychological factors like anxiety and stress will influence that condition in one of the following ways:

Modes of Psychosomatic disorder

There are three general categories of psychosomatic illness. In the first one, a person has a mental and physical illness, whose symptoms and management complicate each other. The second category involves a person who experiences mental issues due to the medical condition and its treatment. For example, patients feeling depressed because they have cancer and are taking treatment for it. The third kind is called a somatoform disorder. It is a condition in which a person with a mental illness experiences one or more physical symptoms, even if he does not have any associated medical condition. Somatoform illness is further classified as follows:

Risk factors of psychosomatic disorder

Psychological factors can alter a medical condition to a certain extent.

For example:

Some medical conditions arise due to mental tension, such as:

Further Reading

Written by

Afsaneh Khetrapal

Afsaneh graduated from Warwick University with a First class honours degree in Biomedical science. During her time here her love for neuroscience and scientific journalism only grew and have now steered her into a career with the journal, Scientific Reports under Springer Nature. Of course, she isn’t always immersed in all things science and literary; her free time involves a lot of oil painting and beach-side walks too.

Last updated Feb 17, 2021

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