I came across a word I had not heard for many years, and then only on television as I was younger. It involves both mind and body. Psychosomatic illness can be defined in 3 different classes.
(1) People who have both a mental illness and a medical illness, and these complicate one another
(2) People who have a mental illness that is the result of a physical illness, an example is having depression because of cancer, and
(3) A somatoform disorder being a mental disorder caused by physical symptoms related to psychological reasons.
There are many disorders associated with the somatoform disorder, and no one knows the exact reason for them. Some physicians think the disorders exist because of very strong emotions and those who are suffering from it cannot understand what emotions are involved because of the physical symptoms. The patient is not pretending the symptoms are real; being caused by a psychological reason, in relation to a physical symptom, the same as having a migraine headache, you don’t know the reason why you feel so bad, yet the pain exist.
Women are more susceptible than men to have a somatoform disorder. The symptoms can be digestive, headache pain, lethargy and other problems, and there is no cure for this form of disorder. The symptoms can be managed, yet the treatment may be more difficult; while people who suffer from such a disorder can live normally. The somatoform disorder is not a threatening illness although it may lead to major depression or even suicide.
A somatoform disorder seems to run in the family and is speculated to be genetic. It can be a coping mechanism or something learned, or a personality characteristic, or another kind of disorder. The disorder can be seen to be associated with nerve problems in particularly false signals to the brain and learning to control stress is to become involved in cognitive behavioral therapy which can help reduce the symptoms.
Using stress management may also relieve some of the symptoms yet; medications have also been used to help people control such a disorder.
Written by Donald Sammons