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pertaining to the interrelations of mind and body; having bodily symptoms of psychic, emotional, or mental origin.
psychosomatic disorder (psychosomatic illness) a disorder in which the physical symptoms are caused or exacerbated by psychological factors, such as migraine headache, lower back pain, or irritable bowel syndrome; see also somatoform disorders. It is now recognized that emotional factors play a role in the development of nearly all organic illnesses and that the physical symptoms experienced by the patient are related to many interdependent factors, including psychological and cultural. The physical manifestations of an illness, unless caused by mechanical trauma, cannot be divorced from a person's emotional life. Each person responds in a unique way to stress; emotions affect one's sensitivity to trauma and to irritating elements in the environment, susceptibility to infection, and ability to recover from the effects of illness. Physical conditions to which psychological factors are shown to be contributory are currently classified as psychological factors affecting medical condition. Any physical condition can be so classified, but the most frequently included are asthma, peptic ulcer, bowel disorders, cardiovascular disorders, arthritis, allergy, headache, and certain endocrine disorders. In recent years there has been some success in using behavior therapy to treat these and other illnesses whose symptoms are related to the autonomic nervous system. Clients are taught new ways of coping with stress and new patterns of behavior. Among the techniques used are biofeedback, relaxation training, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning using social and material reinforcement.
psy·cho·so·mat·ic dis·or·der, psychophysiologic disorder
a disorder characterized by physical symptoms of psychic origin, usually involving a single organ system innervated by the autonomic nervous system; physiologic and organic changes stem from a sustained disturbance.
psychosomatic disorderA clinical complex, as delineated by the DSM-IV, in which:
(1) An individual has a biological predisposition to a particular condition, which may have genetic, trauma-related or other predisposing factors;
(2) The individual has a vulnerable personality—i.e., there is a type or degree of stress that the individual’s coping mechanism and ego structure cannot manage; and
(3) The individual must experience a significant psychosocial stress in his or her susceptible personality area.
psychosomatic disorderPsychiatry A condition in which
1. A person has a biologic predisposition to a particular condition–genetic, trauma-related, etc;.
2. The person has a vulnerable personality–ie, there is a type or degree of stress that the coping mechanism and ego structure cannot manage;.
3. The person must experience a significant psychosocial stress in a susceptible personality area. See Factitious disorders, Psychogenic 'syndromes. '.
psy·cho·so·mat·ic dis·or·der, psychophysiologic disorder (sī'kō-sŏ-mat'ik dis-ōr'dĕr, sī'kō-fiz'ē-ŏ-loj'ik)
A disorder characterized by physical symptoms of psychic origin, usually involving a single organ system innervated by the autonomic nervous system; physiologic and organic changes stem from a sustained disturbance.