- psychosomatic disorder
Bodily ailment or symptom, caused by mental or emotional disturbance, in which psychological stresses adversely affect physiological (somatic) functioning to the point of distress.Psychosomatic disorders may include hypertension, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, sexual dysfunctions, and dermatitis. Many patients with psychosomatic conditions respond to a combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy. See also hypochondriasis.
* * *also called Psychophysiologic Disorder,condition in which psychological stresses adversely affect physiological (somatic) functioning to the point of distress. It is a condition of dysfunction or structural damage in bodily organs through inappropriate activation of the involuntary nervous system and the glands of internal secretion. Thus, the psychosomatic symptom emerges as a physiological concomitant of an emotional state. In a state of rage, for example, the angry person's blood pressure is likely to be elevated and his pulse and respiratory rate to be increased. When the anger passes, the heightened physiologic processes usually subside. If the person has a persistent inhibited aggression (chronic rage), however, which he is unable to express overtly, the emotional state remains unchanged, though unexpressed in the overt behaviour, and the physiological symptoms associated with the angry state persist. With time, such a person becomes aware of the physiological dysfunction. Very often he develops concern over the resulting physical signs and symptoms, but he denies or is unaware of the emotions that have evoked the symptoms.Psychosomatic disorders may affect almost any part of the body, though they are usually found in systems not under voluntary control. Research by psychiatrist Franz Alexander (Alexander, Franz) and his colleagues at the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis in the 1950s and 1960s suggested that specific personality traits and specific conflicts may create particular psychosomatic illnesses, but it is generally believed that the form a disorder takes is due to individual vulnerabilities. Emotional stress is assumed to aggravate existing illnesses, and there is some evidence that it may precipitate illnesses not usually considered to be psychosomatic (e.g., cancer, diabetes) in individuals predisposed to them.Psychosomatic disorders resulting from stress may include hypertension, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, pelvic pain, impotence, frigidity, dermatitis, and ulcers.Many patients suffering from psychosomatic diseases respond to a combination of drug therapy, psychoanalysis, and behaviour therapy. In less severe cases, patients can learn to manage stress without drugs. See also stress.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
psychosomatic disorder — noun a mental disorder that causes somatic symptoms (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑mental disorder, ↑mental disturbance, ↑disturbance, ↑psychological disorder, ↑folie … Useful english dictionary
psychosomatic disorder — a disorder in which the physical symptoms are caused or exacerbated by psychological factors, such as migraine headache, lower back pain, or irritable bowel syndrome. The synonym psychophysiologic disorders, used in previous official… … Medical dictionary
psychosomatic — [sī΄kō sō mat′ik] adj. [ PSYCHO + SOMATIC] 1. designating or of a disorder of the body originating in or aggravated by the psychic or emotional processes of the individual 2. designating a system of medicine using a coordinated psychological and… … English World dictionary
disorder — /dis awr deuhr/, n. 1. lack of order or regular arrangement; confusion: Your room is in utter disorder. 2. an irregularity: a disorder in legal proceedings. 3. breach of order; disorderly conduct; public disturbance. 4. a disturbance in physical… … Universalium
Psychosomatic medicine — DiseaseDisorder infobox Name = Psychosomatic illness ICD10 = F40 F48 ICD9 = 300 316 Psychosomatic medicine is an interdisciplinary medical field studying psychosomatic illness, now more commonly referred to as psychophysiologic illness or… … Wikipedia
disorder — A disturbance of function, structure, or both, resulting from a genetic or embryonic failure in development or from exogenous factors such as poison, trauma, or disease. adjustmen … Medical dictionary
psychosomatic — Pertaining to the influence of the mind or higher functions of the brain ( e.g., emotions, fears, desires) upon the functions of the body, especially in relation to bodily disorders or disease. See psychophysiologic. SYN: psychophysical (2).… … Medical dictionary
psychosomatic — psy|cho|so|mat|ic [ˌsaıkəusəˈmætık US kəsə ] adj medical [Date: 1800 1900; : Greek; Origin: psych ( PSYCH ) + somatikos (from soma body )] 1.) a psychosomatic illness is caused by fear or anxiety rather than by a physical problem psychosomatic… … Dictionary of contemporary English
disorder — Synonyms and related words: abnormality, acute disease, affection, afflict, affliction, affray, agitation, ailment, allergic disease, allergy, aloofness, amorphia, amorphism, amorphousness, anarchism, anarcho syndicalism, anarchy, anomie,… … Moby Thesaurus
psychosomatic — psychosomatically, adv. /suy koh seuh mat ik, soh /, adj. 1. of or pertaining to a physical disorder that is caused by or notably influenced by emotional factors. 2. pertaining to or involving both the mind and the body. [1860 65; PSYCHO +… … Universalium