psychosomatic medicine


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psychosomatic medicine

(sī'kōsōmăt`ĭk), study and treatment of those emotional disturbances that are manifested as physical disorders. The term psychosomatic emphasizes essential unity of the psyche and the soma, a combination rooted in ancient Greek medicine. Common disorders caused at least partly by psychological factors include childhood asthmaasthma
, chronic inflammatory respiratory disease characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. A cough producing sticky mucus is symptomatic.
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, certain gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, endocrine disturbances, diabetes, and possibly even heart disease. In most psychosomatic conditions there is some interaction between psychological factors and physiological predisposition to the illness. Sigmund FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.

His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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, at the end of the 19th cent., laid the scientific groundwork for psychosomatic study, with his theoretical formulations based on new methods of treating hysteriahysteria
, in psychology, a disorder commonly known today as conversion disorder, in which a psychological conflict is converted into a bodily disturbance. It is distinguished from hypochondria by the fact that its sufferers do not generally confuse their condition with real,
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. His methods were reinforced by the psychobiology of the American psychiatrist Adolf Meyer and the research of the American physiologist W. B. Cannon on the physiological effects of acute emotion. The treatment of psychosomatic ailments may involve a medical regimen as well as some form of psychotherapypsychotherapy,
treatment of mental and emotional disorders using psychological methods. Psychotherapy, thus, does not include physiological interventions, such as drug therapy or electroconvulsive therapy, although it may be used in combination with such methods.
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 for the patient. In recent years, psychosomatic medicine has been subsumed under the broader field of behavioral medicine, which includes the study of a wider range of physical ailments. Understanding the psychological causes of various ailments is crucial: studies suggest that a large percentage of deaths are rooted in behavior. In the 1960s, concepts related to conditioning gained prominence, as researchers found that humans and animals could learn to control their autonomic nervous system responses, usually involved in psychosomatic complaints. Emerging from this research came the technique of biofeedback that provides individuals with information concerning their own physiological responses, which they may begin to alter through conscious techniques of control. The newest area of research related to psychosomatic medicine has been called psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the interactions of the endocrine system, central nervous system, and immune system. Researchers believe that studies of these biological systems can help to show how an individual becomes vulnerable to illness.

Bibliography

See J. M. Kuldau, ed., Treatment for Psychosomatic Problems (1982); C. P. Wilson and I. L. Mintz, ed., Psychosomatic Symptoms (1989).

References in periodicals archive ?
Through hypnotherapy it's possible to get a better rate of healing among patients and so limit the amount of time they spend in treatment," says Dr Peter Naish, president-elect of the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section.
In this article, we begin by briefly reviewing the history of psychosomatic medicine in Germany and the development of PPC.
Their work would eventually lead to a revival of ancient concepts brought to modernity as psychosomatic medicine (psycho, mind; soma, body).
Kawai, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582 Japan.
While her mother's opinion was offered "from the heart," it was also informed by her association with Franz Alexander, "the father of psychosomatic medicine," and Judd Marmor, who was instrumental in having homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental illnesses three years later.
Alma Vrinceanu noted at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.
The study, published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal, says just three half-hour sessions a week could slash the symptoms.
An article published recently in Psychosomatic Medicine 72:(November) 897-904) showed that the Williams LifeSkills video training program can reduce stress in individuals who care for a relative with Alzheimer's disease.
Contract notice: Construction of a hospital for psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults as well as a day clinic.
and has American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology certifications in psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine.
The Anorexia Nervosa Treatment of OutPatients (ANTOP) study was conducted at ten German university eating disorder centers and was designed by the departments for psychosomatic medicine at the university hospitals of Heidelberg (Director: Prof.
This clinical manual presents information on several areas of psychosomatic medicine to assist in assessing the weight of potential psychiatric issues in diagnosing primary complaints.