Psychosomatics - development and treatment

How do diseases with a psychosomatic component develop?

The explanatory model of Sigmund Freud assumes that unconscious conflicts escape consciousness through repression and then present themselves physically. As a result, the physical symptom becomes a symbol of the psychological conflict. This conversion (psychic is too physical) often affects the sensory organs (blindness, ear noises, dizziness) or the motor system (paralysis, muscle spasms). Max Schur, also a psychoanalyst and the physician of Freud, was of the opinion that man learns in the course of his life, no longer to react to a physical strain, but his thinking and his imagination, so his ego functions are trained. Under too much stress, he would then fall back into the early childhood behavior pattern and physically, so with a psychosomatic illness respond.

Different theories

While Franz Alexander saw a specific relationship between the psychic conflict and the body's response, George L. Engel and Arthur H. Schmale changed this explanatory approach and saw the time of onset and localization of the disease in each individual depending on the mental state, but not the Body reaction in itself. Pierre Marty has found in patients with psychosomatic disorders accumulated a lack of imagination and a certain mechanistic thinking, so that he assumed a relationship between character traits and the tendency to psychosomatic diseases.

For Martin Seligman, miscarried learning processes are the cause of the psychosomatic illness, and Hans Selye sees the disease as the end result of a stress reaction that individuals can not resist otherwise.

The most widely used today's biopsychosocial explanatory models for the development of a psychosomatic illness, eg by Thore von Uexküll. They include not only biological-physical, emotional and intellectual components of the individual, but also his social situation and his life history and see in the interaction a rationale for the disease development.

Is there a psychosomatic treatment?

Headache, chest, abdominal and back pain are the most common complaints, in addition to fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and sleep disturbances, why a patient goes to the doctor - and the most common complaints in which no cause is found. In the treatment of these symptoms, it is especially important to take equal account of mental and physical aspects. But otherwise you should always ask yourself if, apart from the medical treatment, you might not be able to do anything more to influence the healing process:

  • Healthy eating helps to make you healthy - but you also eat foods that you feel like and that you know are "soul food" to you.
  • Exercise in the fresh air activates your immune system - and the sun dispels bad thoughts.
  • Relaxation exercises reduce stress and help you to become more balanced.
  • Ask yourself if certain circumstances contribute to your discomfort. If you are unsure, seek professional help and talk to a psychologist or psychotherapist about your problems.
  • Holistic medicine approaches can be found in natural medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and other Eastern wisdom teachings. Ask your doctor if he can help you with a holistic treatment.
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