This term has gained currency over the psychotic disorder in recent years. The psychosomatic, however, is still very popular and largely used in medicine and psychiatry. The approach has now become an interdisciplinary one. No illness is circumscribed to body or physique alone of the person; rather it does have an effect on the mind as well as affects other person or persons associated with her / him.
The psychosomatic nature of illness or disorder has a special meaning in as much the afflicted individual due to emotional psychological stress as the cause brings the physical symptoms upon himself. The stress, which is frequently used in mental and psychological disturbances, is a strain on the. coping abilities of the individual. Any life change and event that exert pressure on the individual constitute stress (Holmes and Rahe, 1967).
The emotional factor cause bodily changes of maladaptive nature as well as to sustain them. The physiological disorder therefore is a real disease and not imaginary one. The disorder must not be confused with the physical signs and symptoms of conversion hysteria. The distinguishing characteristics between the two are that the later is purely functional whereas the former has an actual organic damage.
Factors in the patient's personality or in her / his life situation, which are relevant to the onset or recurrence of the symptom, are of diagnostic importance. Emotional factors can be demonstrated to be significant in the production of perpetuation of the disorder. Significantly high proportion of cases give a history of the same organ associated disorder in the parents, siblings or relatives. The course of the illness tends to be a phase with periods of exacerbations can be differentiated from neuroses because:
- There is no symbolic meaning for the symptom.
- It is not a defense to anxiety the usual mechanism in neuroses but it is the result of anxiety
- The presence of structural changes can be demonstrated by investigation.
It involves both symptomatic treatments for the structural lesson and psychotherapy. For example, patient with peptic ulcer must have antacids and diet regulations. He must also have psychotherapy to help him to cope with his' life situations so that the anxiety is reduced, which will allow the ulcer to heal. Psychotherapy, for psychosomatic disorder is usually or a supportive type where the patient is helped to gain insight into his condition and to develop his own defense to cope with difficult life situations. Wherever possible, the life stresses should also be minimized.
hen this area where there should be good collaboration between the intermits and the psychiatrist. It will be better to treat these patients in a general hospital where a psychiatrist can be a consultant or a member of the team.