The concept of “psychosomatics” has become very popular today. This is a branch of medicine and psychology that studies how our emotions affect physical health. Many consider psychosomatics almost the root of all troubles and the cause of diseases. This is true and not true at the same time.

Our expert – psychotherapist Eva Andreeva.

No one doubts that the psychological state is an important factor that affects both the objective indicators of the physical state of the body and the subjective assessment, that is, our well-being.

An epidemic of fear

If we experience some emotion for a long time, whether it be fear, anxiety or excitement, certain hormones begin to be released in the body, and the hormonal background gradually changes. Negative emotions activate the sympathetic nervous system, and this leads to an increase in heart rate, vasospasm, and an increase in blood pressure.

For example, an anxious patient complains of tachycardia. The feeling of a rapid heartbeat normally occurs when a person is in danger, he needs to run away. To do this, the muscles require more blood, which means that the heart needs to increase the frequency of contractions. When the danger has passed, the pulse returns to normal. But an anxious person is constantly on full alert, he is always worried. As a result, the sympathetic nervous system is active almost all the time. Due to tension, vasospasm occurs, the pressure rises, the pulse quickens. Against this background, a stroke or heart attack can even happen. Only anxiety here was not the cause of the disease, but only a trigger.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Diagnosis on order

There are quite a few areas that study the influence of the psyche on the body. Official medicine distinguishes three groups of psychosomatic disorders (PSD), which manifest themselves as somatic, i.e. bodily:

conversion disorders

A pathology in which control over the movements of the body is lost. Most often, conversion manifests itself in the complete loss or disruption of some part of the body: pain syndromes, vomiting, tics, psychogenic blindness and deafness. At the same time, there are no physical violations of body functions.

Psychological reasons:

  • internal conflict, in which a person ceases to realistically assess the current situation;
  • desire to run away from the problem – without realizing it, a person hides from a traumatic situation in an illness.

Functional syndromes (neurosis)

Vague complaints (migraine, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue), which have a direct impact on the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory organs and genitourinary system.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Psychological reasons:

  • depressive states;
  • secondary benefit (for example, manipulation to attract attention).


A group of diseases caused by true somatic disorders. Among them are gastric and duodenal ulcers, bronchial asthma, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodermatitis.

Psychological reasons:

  • stress;
  • unmet needs;
  • negative thoughts, self-hypnosis;
  • guilt.

My Soul Hurts

Mind and body equally affect each other. So every physical illness has an emotional counterpart, a negative emotion. If it “lives” in a person for a long time, then it develops into stress. True, in order to start a destructive process at the physical level, stress must be quite strong. For such a shock, you need:

  • suddenness;
  • the strength of the dramatic situation for the patient personally;
  • feeling helpless in solving the problem;
  • inability to accept, come to terms with what happened.

No matter how good the attending physician is, the patient needs to work on the problem on his own. You need to ask questions and look for answers within yourself: “What in my life could provoke this disease?”, “What is the benefit of this disease for me?”.

Treatment of psychosomatic diseases takes place in several directions.

Medical therapy. Drugs should be prescribed only by a doctor.

Psychotherapy. At the first stage, it is important to bring the problem out of the subconscious and realize it. Then work with a psychologist or psychiatrist begins.

Rehabilitation. It is necessary to connect the environment of the patient, who needs a careful and open attitude, to the process of recovery.

Only complex measures give the maximum effect: drug therapy, lifestyle changes and psychotherapy.