There is a theory that many of our diseases appear as a result of psychological problems and traumas. This is precisely the field of study of psychosomatics. The concept itself is made up of two Greek words “psycho” – soul and “soma” – body.
What is psychosomatics in simple words
Psychosomatics is not magic or mysticism, as many people think. It has been scientifically proven that our feelings are inextricably linked with the body.
Negative emotions that are not fully lived through have a very detrimental effect on health. Diseases of the soul are reflected in the body.
Psychosomatic diseases are caused by psychological trauma, stress, negative emotions, repressed feelings, internal conflicts, and the like.
Doctors in ancient Greece knew that some diseases of the body needed to be treated with medicines that were not at all familiar. Many do not believe that psychological problems can lead to illness and somehow affect health.
Probably, everyone was faced with the fact that when certain psychological problems appear, their echo is found in the body. Your back, head, arms may hurt, or symptoms of some disease may appear. This indicates that the disease is psychological in nature.
A common cold can also get sick due to psychological reasons. In the Gestalt approach in psychology, there is a theory that any disease is an unsatisfied need of the body, a kind of cry for help.
For example, the body is tired, the immune system is weakened and a cold or flu has appeared. You have to lie down and rest. If we do not allow ourselves a normal rest in favorable conditions, then the body will receive it through illness.
There are a huge number of examples of manifestations of psychosomatics. Of course, before making a psychosomatic diagnosis, it is necessary to undergo a complete medical examination in order to exclude the physiological causes of diseases.
So, psychosomatics in simple words are physical diseases or disorders, the cause of which is emotional stress. All diseases are from the nerves.
Does psychosomatics work?
Many scientists are skeptical about the claim that often our illnesses are due to psychological trauma. However, multiple studies have shown that chronic stress has a serious impact on human health and leads to disease. Stress weakens our immunity, reducing the body’s resistance to various diseases.
Why, then, our thoughts and feelings cannot affect our health and well-being? Psychologists and psychoanalysts agree that the body reflects our emotional state and thoughts.
And since we rarely follow what we feel and what we think, it is the body that signals to a person that there is dissonance somewhere. In this case, pain and illness occur only when the process is strongly started.
Causes of psychosomatic diseases
It is important to understand that on the basis of one insignificant emotion, illness cannot appear. Most often, the body gets sick when the psyche cannot cope with the scale of experiences.
All people living in the modern world are subject to stress. Life in megacities and the fast pace of life adversely affect the psyche.
Stress itself is a normal reaction of the psyche, a kind of turbo mode, when the body is in an active position to protect itself from external factors.
The stress response can be compared to ancient times, when people had to get their own food and defend themselves from predatory animals.
A person either fought with a wild animal or ran away from it. Then the “hit and run” mechanism worked, as a reaction to danger. This mechanism underlies the physiological basis of stress.
Such activity of the body is useful situationally, but not always. If you are under stress all the time, you can get sick.
Daily problems at work, quarrels with loved ones, financial problems, information overload, lack of time – all the negative emotions from everyday problems can lead to stress.
In order to prevent the development of psychosomatic diseases against this background, you need to be able to relieve stress, live through negative emotions, and not accumulate them.
Prolonged experience of negative emotions
Negative emotions include anger, resentment, envy, fear, disappointment, anxiety. If you carry negative feelings in yourself for a long time, they can transform into illnesses.
For example, according to Louise Hay’s table of psychosomatic illnesses, frequent angina may be associated with constant suppression of anger, resentment, and at the same time with a feeling of defenselessness, helplessness.
Allergies can be caused by violation of boundaries, expression of disagreement. Migraine occurs in people who are dissatisfied with themselves, constantly experiencing uncertainty and fear.
Benign tumors can arise due to unresolved old grievances and unwillingness to let them go. Malignant tumors appear due to total, destructive grief and resentment that a person has not let go.
How to help psychosomatic patients
The effectiveness of the treatment of psychosomatic disorders depends on the identification and elimination of the causes of their development. For this purpose, psychotherapeutic techniques are used. Medications for psychosomatic disorders are prescribed in the presence of concomitant emotional and behavioral problems.
Sports, art therapy, hippotherapy, massage, yoga have a positive effect on the emotional health of a person. Help in restoring psychological balance can be provided by the immediate environment of the patient.
If you want to avoid the development of psychosomatic disorders – learn to resist stress, build constructive interpersonal relationships, manage emotions and give them an outlet in a socially acceptable way.