Psychosomatic Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Types

Psychosomatic Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Types

One needs to explore what psychosomatic disorders are and what does contribute to their development.


For Instance, one patient has lots of bizarre symptoms that are indeed concerning to him. Sometimes he does feel like he has a lump in his throat that is indeed very large and one cannot swallow. Sometimes he also loses his hearing for several hours at a time and then regains it for no known reason. Other times he also does lose feeling in his left hand and he is also unable to move his fingers.

He has also noticed these symptoms that have indeed developed after his divorce was initiated and are worse after meetings with his attorney. He has no doubt gone to various doctor appointments over the last six months. Doctors have very rigorously and thoroughly examined him and also conducted tests, including blood work and brain imaging. He does, of course, pass each test with flying colors and his doctors do say that he is in great health. His doctor does also believe that the patient might have more of a psychological problem, and also send him to a psychologist for evaluation cum treatment.

The patient is likely to experience something called ‘conversion disorder.’ Conversion disorder is a sort of type of psychosomatic disorder that does involve neurological symptoms that are not fully explained by a medical condition, which is indeed getting worse by mental health issues.

Psychosomatic disorders, such as conversion disorder, are rather conditions that do of course involve both physical as well as psychological components. Their development does normally involve a genetic predisposition in order to develop mental health issues and can also be triggered by stressful life events. Psychosomatic disorders are often puzzling as well as difficult for medical and mental health providers to treat.

Types of Psychosomatic Disorders

Psychological Issue

The initial type of psychosomatic disorder does, of course, involve a medical issue that is likely to be worse by a psychological issue. This is often a presumption, as research has not actually found a specific physical cause of one’s medical condition. Instead, researchers have indeed found mental health issues often accompany it. This link is also suspected because effective treatment does involve the use of antidepressant medications. Examples of this type of psychosomatic disorder are fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, or even multiple chemical sensitivity.

Medical Conditions

The second type of psychosomatic disorder involves mental health symptoms which are made worse by a medical condition. This could be on account of adjusting to a life-altering medical diagnosis such as cancer, or even diabetes.


A psychosomatic disorder is indeed acknowledged as an illness that does connect the mind as well as the body. This does occur in such a way that the physiological functioning of the body is rather affected by the psychological tensions that do either cause a disease or worsen the pre-existing disease in a person.

It is also referred to as Psycho-physiologic disorder. An improper stimulation of the autonomic nervous system, does regulate the functions of the internal organs, and is responsible for the evolution of this disorder and also leads to impairment of the functional organs.


The exact cause for such evolution of psychosomatic disorder is rather unknown. Studies have shown that the physical disorders that are linked with mental stress are on account of the hyperactivity of the nerve impulses sent from one’s brain to the other parts of one’s body, which can also indeed cause the secretion of adrenaline into one’s blood, leading to a state of anxiousness. This condition does get triggered by various life factors as follows:

Genetics: A few studies do state that the particular genetic aberrations in an individual may turn into a direct cause for this condition.

• Irregular biological conditions: Alteration in one’s glucose metabolism, amino acid levels in serum, etc., can also cause psychosomatic disorder.

Stress influence: Persons who do experience stressful events such as trauma, abuse, frequent illness, fear, depression, anger, guilt, insecurity, and other difficult situations are also indeed susceptible to this disorder.

Family circumstances: Parental absence, the behavior of parents toward the child, and also relationship difficulties are also a major origin of psychosomatic disorders.

Psychosomatic Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, TypesInfluence of psychological factors

If a person has a common medical condition such as essential hypertension, then psychological factors such as anxiety and stress will certainly influence that condition in one of the following ways:

Stress altering time: Stress will alter the time period that is utilized for the development, worsening or even recovery from the general medical condition.

The intrusion of stress: The psychological factors might also intrude into the treatment provided for the general medical condition and also create problems.

Exacerbation: Anxiety factors do make the symptoms of the medical condition worsen, thereby increasing its severity.

Generation of risk factors: The stress component will indeed generate many other risk factors that are associated with health issues such as diabetes, headache, etc.

Modes of Psychosomatic disorder

There are rather three general categories of psychosomatic illness. In the first one, a person suffers from both mental and physical illness, whose symptoms and management does complicate each other. The second category does also involve a person who experiences mental issues due to the medical condition and its treatment. The third kind is referred to as a somatoform disorder. It is a condition which involves a person with mental illness does experience one or more physical symptoms, even in case he does not have any associated medical condition. Somatoform illness also further classified as follows:

• Hypochondriasis: This is a health condition in which the person does also believe a minor physical symptom to be a grave disease. For example, concluding the temporary flatulence problem into colon cancer.

Conversion disorder: When a person who does not actually have any medical illness experiences neurological symptoms such as seizures, which have an effect on movement and senses, it is known as conversion disorder.

• Somatization disorder: In this case, an individual does feel frequent headaches and has diarrhea, which does not have any relation to a serious medical condition.

• Body dysmorphic disorder: A person does also get stressed about the appearance of one’s own their bodies such as wrinkles and obesity. Here the person does severely get affected by anorexia.

Pain disorder: Here, a person senses severe pain over any part of the body, which might also last for six months to one year, without any physical cause. For example, migraines, tension headaches, back pain, etc.

Risk factors of the psychosomatic disorder

Psychological factors can also alter a medical condition to a certain extent.

For example:

Diabetes: Type-2 diabetic patients are rather more susceptible to stress-related hypertension. The same stress factor of hypertension does exacerbate the diabetic condition.

Cancer: Many causative factors are rather responsible for the development of cancer in people. Studies have indeed indicated that psychological stress can also indeed affect a tumor’s ability to grow as well as spread, thereby worsening the state of cancer. If you want to know cancer after surgery diet chart

Some medical conditions arise due to mental tension, such as:

Hypertension: Some psychology triggering factors such as negative emotional state, frequent adverse stress, and social factors such as economic status and life events have an indirect relation with the levels of blood pressure.

Heart disease-associated arteriosclerosis: Studies have also rather concluded that the development of coronary heart disease is correlated with several risk factors in which depression, anxiety, and stress are also a major cause.

Respiratory problems: Apart from various etiological influences, emotional stress is a rather major triggering factor that is associated with the induction of bronchial asthma.

Gastrointestinal problems: Peptic ulcer formation is related to stressful life events of an individual.

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