by Dr. Becky Spelman on 11/08/2014
What are Psychosomatic Symptoms?
Physical symptoms that have no obvious cause can often be “psychosomatic”, which means that the origin of the problem is in the mind, rather than in the body.
In popular discourse, psychosomatic problems are often dismissed as being “all in the mind”, as though the person in question could simply decide not to experience the symptoms any more, and just get better.
The reality is much more complicated than that. Today we know that psychological issues such as stress and anxiety can lead to a wide range of very severe symptoms that can include pain, digestive disorders, skin problems and much more. These problems are all very real, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, even when they are “all in the mind”. Furthermore, even conditions that do have an underlying physical cause can be made much worse by stress and anxiety; in this respect, practically every disease has a psychosomatic component. For example, the painful symptoms of a condition such as arthritis tend to be experienced as much more distressing and disruptive if the person is also depressed or anxious.
Psychosomatic symptoms can often manifest as symptoms that are also associated with serious health problems. Chest pain, for example, could indicate heart disease, or could result from a psychosomatic issue.
Treatment of Psychosomatic Symptoms and Disorders
Because so many psychosomatic disorders are associated with problems such as anxiety, stress and depression, learning self-help techniques that will assist with keeping these conditions under control can be very useful. For example, meditation, mindfulness and controlled breathing are all easy-to-learn techniques that have been clinically proven to help with these disorders and, by association, with psychosomatic disorders that result from them. By working with a psychotherapist, an individual who suffers from psychosomatic disorders can also acquire techniques around learning new behaviours and reactions to stressful stimuli, as well as learning more about where these difficult emotions come from.
How do I get help for Psychosomatic Symptoms
If you would like to talk to someone about psychosomatic symptoms and disorders, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 38871738 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org