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Psychosomatic Illnesses

Psychosomatic Illnesses

Many health problems are related to feelings and are not directly linked with physical illnesses. This includes for e.g. fear, nervousness, listlessness and testiness. Psychosomatic illnesses can be closely related to functional disorders such as headaches, diarrhoea and circulatory insufficiency. The vegetative nervous system is responsible for this. The vegetative nervous system controls the unconscious processes in the body such as digestion, breathing, metabolism etc..

Commonness of Psychosomatic Illnesses

Psychosomatic illnesses are the most common ailments. The risk of getting ill increases considerably if serious life decisions or events demand a quick adaptation to new living conditions. Dealing with retirement is a well-known example. When taking the vital step from the working life to retirement, heart complaints becomes more common as do heart attacks. However, these problems usually do not arise immediately. Psychosomatic illnesses usually occur six to eighteen months after the event.

Self-Help for Psychosomatic Illnesses

Psychosomatic illnesses are important warning signals of the body. They indicate that the physical-mental well-being is out of balance.

The following help with short term mental health problems:

  • Sleep
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Movement and sport
  • Diversity, e.g. a nice weekend with friend


Theaters of the Body: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Psychosomatic Illness

Psychosomatic Illnesses and the Subdivisions:

Mental Health Problems

Mental health problems are predominantly uncomfortable mental dispositions or sentiments and body perceptions. Psychosomatic illnesses in the form of mental health problems are not associated with physical changes of the body, in terms of illnesses.

Mental Health Problems can include:

  • Nervousness and testiness
  • Floppiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Listlessness and apathy
  • Despondency and sadness

Functional Illnesses

A functional illness refers to the disruption of the functioning of the organs or their interaction, without any pathological changes of the organs taking place.

Functional illnesses can include:

  • Heart palpitation, sharp pains in the heart area, poor circulation
  • Diarrhoea, constipation, nausea
  • Impotence, premature ejaculation, not getting orgasms


Psychosomatoses are classical psychosomatic illnesses. The organs or the tissue pathologically changes with psychosomatoses and these changes are conditioned by mental processes.

  • Stomach ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Eating disorders

It has not yet been clarified whether psychosomatic illnesses play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases.


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