How a psychologist can help treat psychosomatic illnesses

Psychosomatic illnesses are, in essence, those that fall within that branch of medicine and psychology that studies the relationship between mind and body..

More precisely, it is about identifying and understanding the influence that exists between emotion and the body.

    Understanding psychosomatic illnesses

    Even if unconsciously, we are all subject to physical disorders that can have their origin in the emotional and emotional world.

    Examples? Stress, one of the mental illnesses that almost all workers suffer from today, leads to poor digestion. Also, anger, which creates heartburn, or a change in certain habits, which generates headaches.

    Many examples can be given, but it is scientifically proven that there is a correlation between emotions, conditions and different types of disorders. Body and mind, in fact, should not be seen as two separate worlds, but are two parts of a whole and inevitably influence each other.

    Psychosomatic disorders can affect:

    • The skin: for example, atopic dermatitis, hives, acne, psoriasis, itching …
    • The musculoskeletal system: for example, myalgia, tension headaches, muscle cramps, arthritis …
    • The cardiovascular system: for example, hypertension, tachycardia, arrhythmias …
    • The gastrointestinal system: for example, ulcerative colitis, gastritis …
    • The respiratory system: for example, bronchial asthma, hyperventilation syndrome …
    • The urogenital system: for example, menstrual pain, premature ejaculation, impotence, anorgasmia …

    Luckily today medicine has broadened its views and when an organic pathology is studied, all the factors are analyzed that contribute to their determination.

    This means that we are not only looking for physical causes, but we also take into account the mental aspects that may have influencedThat is to say the lifestyle of the patient in general, the emotional world, the relationships, the social and family context in which he lives.

    It is a “multifactorial approach” which allows a better definition of a disease and, therefore, more precise recovery therapies.

    The task of the psychologist in the face of these alterations

    Some experts often use the expression “the speaking body” to define psychosomatic illnesses. In that case, physical illnesses are nothing more than alternative forms of the body to express discomfort of the mind.

    It is the inner discomfort that comes from physical suffering, which can be precisely problems of the digestive system, but also stress dermatitis, etc. Triggering causes can be strong external pressures, particular tensions when preparing for a job interview or untreated duels that can be experienced with symptoms even years later.

    Every symptom should be taken seriouslyAnd that’s where the psychologist comes in. His job with psychosomatic illnesses is to help the person relate symptoms to ailments of the mind, by finding an alternative way to express negative emotions.

    The psychologist, through his sessions, must accompany the patient to various spurts of tension, anxiety, stress, thus preventing the body from reacting badly.

    The psychologist’s approach mainly consists of making 3 papers in one:

    • Help the patient identify the traumatic event that triggered the physical illness.
    • Reinforce the patient so that it is more difficult for him to fall back into the same pathology.
    • Guide the person towards managing their trauma.

    Without support, the individual may not even be aware of having suffered a trauma.

    therefore do not hesitate to contact professional psychological help if you think this may offer you a solution to deal with your psychosomatic symptoms.

    Author: Adrián Pino Bonacho, health psychologist

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