What is a Psychosomatic Illness?
A psychosomatic illness is an illness which has physical attributes and origin. The actual cause however can be traced to an emotional origin. Barnett recognizes that all illness probably has an emotional component; however he makes the important differentiation that in psychosomatic illnesses this is the “precipitating factor”.
It is important to differentiate between conditions which are commonly lumped together under the term “psychosomatic”
Psychosomatic illness includes the study of medial issues and complaints where the emotional or psychological factors play a precipitative role. Sometimes permanent damage can be done to the body.
Somatising patients takes stress and anxiety and exhibits it in a physical and consistent way. It is a category of psychosomatic illness.
Factitious disorder occurs when the patient is consciously, or more commonly unconsciously benefitting from some secondary gain or benefit, by suffering from the disorder.
It is accepted that the mind has an effect on the body (Hypnosis Rules of the mind 1: Every thought or idea causes a physical reaction).
A simple test such as a Dr taking blood pressure might be skewed by the “white coat syndrome” phenomena where the patient becomes so stressed by the thought of the test that he drives his or her own blood pressure up.( Den Hond, Ellya; Celis, et al, 2003)
The “common cause or reason” is a Biological or physical response by the body in response to a perception created in the mind.
Hypnotherapy, especially analytical forms of hypnotherapy are exceptionally useful at assisting with these conditions, because the approach looks for a cause instead of just dealing with symptoms. This is the Holistic approach.
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