How to Detect a Psychosomatic Disorder?


Psychosomatics does not simply imply that you should stop being nervous, and everything will pass. It does not mean that serious diseases should not be treated by traditional medicine either. However, to recover faster, psychosomatics must be taken into account. Those doctors who use the psychosomatic approach achieve much better results. What is psychosomatics and how to use it?

No esoterics

At the same time, the modern world of medicine has an abundance of laboratory and instrumental examination methods that make it possible to diagnose the disease and promptly start treatment. However, despite this, there are “blind zones” that neither tests nor machines can identify. All this “unexplored” space is occupied by psychosomatic symptoms. The household term “psychosomatics” is still extremely vague and often resembles something esoteric and non-existent. Knowing patients say with a grin that all diseases are triggered by stress. Nevertheless, a visit to a doctor is not so much about searching for the name of the disease, but about solutions and recipes.

What diseases are most often psychosomatic

Every third patient is psychosomatic. These can be patients with depressions, reactions to chronic stress, or somatic diseases that impair the quality of life (coronary heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis, etc.).

Historically, this category includes the classic psychosomatic diseases (the “holy seven”): bronchial asthma, ulcerative colitis, essential hypertension, neurodermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer.

Currently, these diseases also include psychosomatic thyrotoxicosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and somatoform behavior disorders. The latter is our frequent companions in everyday life: a feeling of shortness of breath, stiffness of the chest while breathing, lancinating pains and pressure in the heart, palpitations, sweating palms and body tremors, non-localized migrating abdominal pain, etc.

Causes of psychosomatics

There are many formulations, concepts, and theories about the reasons for psychosomatic symptoms. One of the simplest and most understandable is that there is an unresolved emotion or a deep feeling that, for various reasons, does not find an outlet in the mental sphere, so it starts revealing itself in the somatic one – that is, in the body.

What do the symptoms mean?

Thus, from the point of view of psychosomatics, the feeling of incomplete and obstructed breathing and chest stiffness when breathing accompanied by yawning may be signs when a person finds it difficult to breathe and cannot exhale or inhale. Stabbing pain, pressure in the heart area, and palpitations urge to pay attention to the central support feeling that sustains life. Many of the symptoms concentrated in the chest area indicate a decrease and impoverishment of the human vital forces. These symptoms frighten, develop immediately, cause insurmountable anxiety and the fear of death, or make the patient extremely vulnerable.

If you go back to the beginning, the symptoms described by the patient can point to a problem that she cannot “swallow”, “process” or “digest”. There must be some toxic situation in life. In case the patient does not find support and understanding from the doctor, he is subject to a series of unsuccessful attempts to independently come up with the diagnosis and then choose paramedical methods of treatment. It becomes quite difficult not to yield to the disease even more. The quality of personal and professional life is declining, the range of interests is narrowed, the diet is forcedly and unreasonably changing, the perception of oneself is distorted. Along with this, the patient’s dearest and nearest feel discomfort.

The development of psychosomatics

Any disease has a goal to develop, thereby destroying the body and worsening the prediction. Somatic diseases require medical treatment and sometimes hospitalization. During their existence, they get interconnected with a lot of psychosomatic symptoms that distort the picture of the disease so much that even after many days of treatment or surgery, there is no “healing” effect and the symptoms return.

Many somatoform disorders are diligently disguised as “terrible” diseases. Thus, psychosomatic symptoms become unexposed, and patients are often faced with the fact that they are thought to pretend, fancy, disguise their true condition and so on.

During the next visit, the doctor sighs heavily and says in an impartial voice: “As far as I am concerned, you have nothing … you are not my patient … I don’t know what’s wrong with you … so what do you want from me?” After that, there appears a desperate or well-designed self-diagnosis plan, which usually leads the patient to death. The problem remains unresolved, and there is neurosis-like anxiety, the expectation of collapse and the fear of uncertainty aggravating all other conditions. Then the circle closes in and forms a vicious chain of “anxiety – somatic symptom – anxiety.”

What should be done

The rhythm of life in a metropolis dictates its own rules. Endless stress, “24/7” mode or work, lack of time are all fertile ground for psychosomatics. It is important to stop, listen and realize what the body is trying to tell you. The fear to admit that the symptoms are of a psychogenic nature is undoubtedly great. Only the fear of not being heard and misunderstood and sometimes even ridiculed can be stronger. It narrows the ring of psychosomatics even more. Careful attitude towards yourself and the desire to be healthy will help you find strength and start a dialogue with your doctor.

The psychosomatic approach reduces the overall diagnosis time by two to three times, it reduces the number of tests and additional instrumental examination and significantly reduces the cost of medical care. At the same time, the patient’s loyalty is preserved and his motivation for recovery increases, as he feels the doctor’s real rather than formal interest in the results of work. The psychosomatic approach makes it possible to evaluate the quality rather than the quantity of the services needed to monitor the psychosomatic patient.

We emphasize that this approach is not a substitute for the usual treatment with affirmations. This is only a more attentive attitude to your body, which helps to distinguish between those situations when medications are needed, and those when you just need to pay attention to your feelings.