What is a Psychosomatic Disorder?
The term “psychosomatic disorder” is mainly used to mean “a physical disease that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors.” The term is also used when mental factors cause physical symptoms but where there is no physical disease. For example, chest pain may be caused by stress and no physical disease can be found.
Some physical diseases are thought to be prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. At any given time, a person’s mental state can affect the degree of severity of a physical disease. Physical symptoms that are caused by mental factors are also called somatization or somatoform disorders. These symptoms are due to increased activity of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body.
A number of factors may play a role in psychosomatic disorders, such as personality traits; genetic or environmental family influences; biological factors; learned behavior and more.
How Mental Factors Can Affect Physical Conditions
A broad range of physical diseases and conditions may be especially prone to being made worse by mental factors. These include skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; high blood pressure; heart problems and more. Psychosomatic disorders frequently affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems as well as the cardiovascular system.
Psychosomatic disorders can have mild to severe effects on one’s quality of life, from interfering with the normal ability to function to causing physical or mental disability.
Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is often the treatment of choice for a psychosomatic disorder. This therapy helps patients learn new ways to cope with and solve their problems as they gain a deeper understanding of their condition or circumstances. Patients will also learn to set realistic life goals and identify and change behaviors or thoughts that have negative effects on their lives.
More Ways to Get Help Now
We offer cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, group therapy. and medication. Depending on your needs, here’s how you can get help now: