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.


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 ?
There are many case reports of patients found to have GBS who first presented with psychotic symptoms originally mistaken for psychosomatic disorders, and this mistake often leads to a delay in care [33-36].
Following this line of thought, it might be possible to demonstrate how consciousness in health and illness has an idiomatic quality which achieves varied expression through the individual's body, feelings or language; how the culture of the moment moulds the repertoires of consciousness in general and psychosomatism in particular (Porter, 1997; see also Shorter, 1993, who sets limits on the extent to which repertories may vary, but nevertheless builds his account of psychosomatic disorders around this insight).
In psychosomatic disorders, even more obviously than in other types of human illness, what emerges most strongly is the fact that there are several components involved: biological, psychological, interpersonal, and environmental.
If no disease is apparent, doctors have, in the past, tended to diagnose patients as having a psychosomatic disorder.
So the most important way to prevent these ailments is by learning to manage stress hence avoiding psychosomatic disorders. At the workshop, we will provide tools and techniques to overcome stress while forging a healthier relationship with the self and others."
So the most important way to prevent these ailments is by learning to manage stress, hence avoiding psychosomatic disorders. At the workshop, we will provide tools and techniques to overcome stress while forging a healthier relationship with the self and others."
Dr Rifai delivered the final presentation, which discussed psychosomatic disorders in the medical setting and described the recommended management of these patients.
Prequalification are invited for Implementation of design and survey works on the object "Reconstruction of the infectious body for a psycho-neurological department for 25 beds for the treatment of psychosomatic disorders in the health care institution" Zhabinka Central District Hospital "in Zhabinka on the street.
Psychosomatic disorders: An overview for oral physician:2016;28:24-29.
It found that some 20 percent of these patients suffered from multiple "medically unexplained symptoms," one of a cluster of terms used by physicians for illnesses with psychological rather than physical causes (others include psychosomatic disorders, conversion disorders, and functional disorders).
Depressive and anxiety disorders are high, followed by bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosomatic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a strange way, these two acting philosophies parallel something in the therapy world--the concept of how psychosomatic disorders operate within humans.