What is a Psychosomatic Disorder?
The term psychosomatic disorder is generally used to mean a physical disease that is thought to be reason, or made worse, by mental factors. The term is also used when mental factors reason physical sign but where there is no physical disease. For example, chest pain may be reason by stress and no physical disease can be found.
A number of factors may play a role in psychosomatic disorders, such as behavior traits; genetic or environmental family influences; biological factors; learned behavior and more.
Symptoms of Psychosomatic Disorder
Now that we know that psychosomatic disorders usually begin in the mind, let’s look at the symptoms of this condition. It has many symptoms, including:
Types of Psychosomatic Disorders
Mostly, psychosomatic disorders and other severe forms are caused by emotional stress. They are divided into these seven types:
(I) Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder – In this type, you experience one or more symptoms (pain, fatigue, appetite loss, and gastrointestinal sign) for a least of six months.
(ii) Somatization Disorder – Symptoms comprise pain, sexual symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, neurological symptoms, menstrual symptoms, and fatigue. Seen in people between 18 and 30 years of age, who experience these symptoms for years without any explanation for them.
(iii) Unspecified Somatoform Disorder – Patients falsely believe that they are pregnant because of signs like termination of menstruation, fetal movement, labor pains, nausea, etc.
(iv) Conversion Disorder – Symptoms of this include incapability to make a sound, sudden illness attacks, unconsciousness, drooping of the upper eyelids, sensation loss in one or more body parts, and vision problems.
(V) Hypochondriasis – Patients fear that they have a unsafe illness that is going to cause major harm to their body. They often visit multiple doctors to prove this.
(vi) Pain Disorder – Symptoms comprise experiencing pain in one or more parts of the body over long periods, without any explanation.
(vii) Body Dysmorphic Disorder – People affected with this feel that their body is defective and often resort to cosmetic treatments to improve their appearance.
How Mental Factors Can Affect Physical Conditions
A broad range of physical illness and circumstances 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.