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The Truth about Psychosomatic Disorders


For two years, Mark has been in a wheelchair because of what seems to be multiple sclerosis. For over 10 years, Elizabeth has been tormented with severe seizures that led her to be confined to a bed with padded sides. Laura lost her vision after she had a work accident. The strange thing is – they are holistically well. Nothing is wrong with them at all, not even physically.

A consultant neurologist named Dr. Suzanne O’ Sullivan presents to us the fact that the majority of the patients she treated have a psychosomatic illness. The reality is Elizabeth has no paralysis or epilepsy. No vision problem was found on Laura’s eyes and there is nothing wrong with Mark’s legs.
All three cases showcase a scenario where the mind plays tricks on their bodies. In this situation, Dr. O’ Sullivan’s initial challenge is to deliver the good news that Mark, Elizabeth, and Laura do not have a serious disease. Their neurological tests and brain scans have been normal.

The polite ones would say Dr. O’ Sullivan was just mistaken, while the angry ones scream. The matter gets worse when she discusses with them that their symptoms are outcomes of unconscious needs buried deep in their psyche. In this article, we will explore deeper the truth about psychosomatic disorders and their treatment.

What is a Psychosomatic Disorder and Which Diseases are Psychosomatic?

To a degree, most ailments are psychosomatic - including both body and mind. There is a mental viewpoint to each physical illness. How we respond to illness and how we adapt to illness shift significantly from individual to individual. For instance, the body’s reaction to a rash may differ from one person to another.  

There can be physical impacts from psychological sickness. For instance, with some psychological diseases, you may not eat or deal with yourself well which can cause physical issues.

The term “psychosomatic” comes from the two words ‘psyche,’ which means mind, and ‘soma,’ which means body. Thus, we can say that a psychosomatic disorder is a disease, which involves both the body and the mind.

Psychosomatic disorder refers to a disease that is believed to be caused or worsened by mental factors. The term psychosomatic is also used when factors related to the mind caused physical symptoms in the absence of physical disease. For instance, one may experience chest pain when overburdened by stress; yet, there is no physical disease found.

A number of physical diseases are believed to be worsened by mental factors such as anxiety and stress. A person's mental condition may impact the severity of a physical ailment. Physical symptoms that are triggered by mental factors are likewise known as somatoform disorders or somatization. These symptoms are results of stimulated activity of nervous impulses conveyed from the brain to the different parts of the body.

There are several factors that perform a critical function in psychosomatic disorders including biological factors, personality traits, environmental, family or genetic influences, and learnt behaviour. An expansive range of physical conditions and diseases may be particularly prone to being exacerbated by mental factors. These conditions include psoriasis and eczema’ heart problems; high blood pressure; and a lot more.

Psychosomatic disorders often impact the gastrointestinal and respiratory system, as well as the cardiovascular system. They can have mild to serious effects on the person’s quality of life, from interfering with the person’s normal ability to function to causing mental or physical disability.

How Can the Mind Influence Physical Diseases?

It is recognized that the mind can trigger physical symptoms. For instance, when we are anxious or afraid, we may develop the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Fast breathing
  • A knot in the stomach

These physical indications are due to increased nerve impulses' activity sent from the brain to the different parts of the body. It is also triggered by the discharge of adrenaline into the bloodstream when we feel anxious. Notwithstanding, the specific way that the brain can cause other manifestations isn't clear. Likewise, how the brain can influence real physical illnesses (blood pressure, rashes, etc.) isn't clear. It might have something to do with the nerve impulses heading off to the body, which we don't completely comprehend. There is likewise some evidence that the brain may have the capacity to influence certain cells of the immune system, which is associated with different physical illnesses. For instance, psychosomatic disorders present somatic complaints, which do not have any organic cause but is believed to be triggered by emotional factors.

The Seven Causes of Psychosomatic Disorders

Leslie LeCron, a hypnotherapist and psychologist, is recognized for identifying the seven issues that trigger discomfort or symptoms. The different causes, along with their related questions, can be utilized in hypnosis to quickly arrive at the main source of any emotional or physical symptom. These techniques are by far the most powerful.
Some of her key aspects of psychosomatic disorders are as follows:

  1. Conflict

This happens when there’s something you want to do, but you are inclined to do the opposite. In this case, there are two opposing directions that use up your energy. The best remedy is to guide the client into coming up with the right decision.

  1. Motivation

A man can be motivated to have a symptom because it appears to take care of an issue. One of the reasons for side effects might be that they fill an intuitive need – for instance children becoming ill to avoid school. To remedy this, the solution would be to seek a better approach to adapt to the issue, or change the way the issue is perceived.

  1. Past experience

One of the reasons for manifestations is an exceptionally emotional episode that happened in the past that is as yet influencing a person. It leaves an imprint in the body and mind. Regression and reframe are two of the ideal procedures to do.

Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is regularly the treatment of choice for a psychosomatic disorder. This treatment enables patients to learn better approaches to adapt to and take care of their issues as they obtain a more profound knowledge of their condition or situation. Patients will likewise figure out how to set practical life goals and distinguish and change practices or considerations that negatively affect their lives. Another form of treatment is hypnosis. Acupuncture, psychotherapy, and abreaction therapy are also potent remedies. Acupuncture involves stimulating the body points through the use of needles in order to correct certain irregularities. Psychotherapy is also referred to as the talking treatment. This involves an interaction between the therapist and the patient whereby the latter shares his or her experiences. Abreaction therapy is a procedure that is geared towards relieving emotions associated with traumatic experiences.



  1. https://patient.info/health/psychosomatic-disorders
  2. http://centerforanxietydisorders.com/treatment-programs/psychosomatic-disorders/
  3. http://hypnotechniques.com/the-7-common-causes-of-psychosomatic-disorders/
  4. https://www.scribd.com/doc/14225211/Psychosomatic-Disorders
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