Psychosomatic illness

From ArticleWorld

A psychosomatic illness is one that is caused by mental states such as depression, anxiety and stress rather that by physiological causes. That is not to say, however, that there are no physical effects of the illness.

There are many autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks the body and damages body tissue, which may be labeled psychosomatic. It is often seen following a trauma of some kind or as the result of being in a dysfunctional relationship.

There are many conditions recognized nowadays that had at one time been labeled psychosomatic such as asthma, migraines and allergies. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has long been considered by some to be psychosomatic as has Gulf War Syndrome.


On occasion, it is enough to suggest the problem is psychological for it to disappear. Often though, it is necessary for the patient to undergo treatment to improve the relationship between the mind and the body. For example, anorexia and bulimia are both considered psychosomatic and are usually effectively treated by counseling under a physicians care.

Other treatment therapies are a little less accepted, at least by mainstream western medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture has long been accepted in the east to be an effective treatment for psychosomatic illnesses. Other alternative treatments which are based around the healing of the mind and the body are yoga, aromatherapy and homeopathy. Dianetics, developed by Ron Hubbard in the 1940’s, is centered on a two-person counseling technique and claims to be particularly effective in treating problems of a psychosomatic nature.