What are Psychosomatic illnesses?
Psychosomatic illnesses are physical symptoms influenced by our mind without any evidence of injury or infections in the body. The word “psychosomatic” can be broken into two parts – Psyche meaning “mind” and Soma meaning “body”. Psychosomatic disorders are those that involve both mind and body and thus impact both mental and physical health. For those suffering from such illness, some physical diseases and symptoms can get worse by mental factors like stress and anxiety.
How do psychosomatic disorders affect mental and physical health?
From a medical perspective, psychosomatic disorders can be explained as illnesses that increase with and originate from emotional stress. The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions like heartbeat, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, etc. Long term stimulation of this system due to emotional factors which are unpleasant, leads to disruption of functions mentioned above. Simply put, mental tension can lead to hypertension, heart disease, asthma, peptic ulcers, etc.
Psychosomatic disorders also leave people vulnerable to cold and common flu with fluctuations in their body’s immunity. Supplements and a healthy diet can boost a person’s immunity, but high levels of psychological tensions will lead to bodily harm in the long run.
What are the types of psychosomatic disorders?
We have three general categories of psychosomatic illnesses:
- The person has both mental and physical illness. Both interplay as cause and effect. A person has hypertension and anxiety issues. Anxiety will increase the intensity of hypertension and vice versa.
- The psychiatric issue is a direct result of medical illness. A person having cancer may have depression due to the illness that one has. This interferes with the quality of life spent and the recovery rate.
- Psychiatric issues which express through physical symptoms. They take physical form hence called somatoform disorders:
- One may experience complaints such as diarrhoea, headaches, palpitations, vertigo, dizziness with no physical findings
- A person believes he/she is suffering from a grave disease without any supporting evidence. For example, a person having a headache may believe he/she has a brain tumour.
- One may have pain in one of the organs/locations chronically leading to cluster headaches, tension headaches, etc without any cause or trigger.
- The inflicted person might feel extremely critical of their physical appearance like the shape of their nose, wrinkles on their face, obesity etc.
How do I help myself and reduce the impact of the disorder?
It is advisable that an individual suffering from psychosomatic disorders gets professional help as soon as possible. However, there are many ways that one can take care of themselves starting from home. Getting professional help is just a piece of management, but the major contribution needs to be from our side.
Trying to alleviate the issue with only professional/external help can work temporarily but not resolve the issue. Many doctors stand by the sentiment that physical fitness and emotional stability are key to resolving psychosomatic disorders. However, there are certain activities individuals can indulge in to keep their mental and physical health intact.
Be in the moment
Be totally in the moment that you are in. Whether you are having tea, coffee, socializing, talking to your partner, parents, etc. just be there and experience it with no distractions.
Realize it is ok to be vulnerable
You are human. At times we feel like crap, unwanted, forsaken. It is absolutely ok to feel that way. Do not resist. Let it be, you are not the only one feeling this.
Talk to people
Whether it is your maid, watchman, cab driver, or anyone for that matter. Casual conversations are us. So very us. we have evolved this way.
Invest in some good headphones or speakers based on the budget. The cost is much less than what one would spend on treatment.
Give yourself a break
Doing too much altogether and getting yourself all worried can make things worse for you. TAKE A BREAK!!!!! It’s very important for your mental health.
Psychosomatic illnesses are no longer a myth. They are a part of the fast-paced lives we are leading these days and need to be addressed with caution. We at Onsurity are driven towards ensuring our customers have the best of health at all times. With our comprehensive healthcare packages, we are taking digital healthcare to a new level, allowing customers to take care of their medical needs, at all times.