Home Mental disordersAnxiety disorders What is somatizing disease: Symptoms and treatment

What is somatizing disease: Symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

It may seem exaggerated, but the truth is that 1 in 4 visits to the doctor that occur every day in large cities have to do with symptoms and physical problems that do not have an apparent physical cause, but are derived from anxiety and stress.

This is called somatizing, when the body expresses through physical discomfort an emotional anguish that cannot be released in any other way. If you want to know more about what is to somatize a disease , the most frequent symptoms, the diagnosis and how is the treatment, we encourage you to continue reading this article by FastlyHeal .

Somatize: definition

When we talk about somatization, we refer to when different physical symptoms appear recurrently, be it abdominal pain, headache or vomiting, which do not have a justifying cause and which interfere with the work and social development of the person. In the opinion of many experts, most of these symptoms are due to anxiety and stress that some emotional problems cause in patients.

To this day, visits to the doctor of a person who manifest different gastrointestinal, sexual, neurological or respiratory symptoms are very frequent without there being any apparent reason that justifies them. There are no infections or a clear symptomatic picture . In these cases, it is usually attributed to a somatization, that is, to the physical manifestation of an emotional problem.

Although currently we do not yet know what are the mechanisms by which this phenomenon occurs, there are a series of traits and patterns that many of the patients have:

  • There are similar cases within the same family
  • People with a lot of emotional dependence
  • Egocentric personalities.

It is also very common in people who have experienced violent behaviors and addictions within the family nucleus.

Psychosomatic pain: symptoms

It is common for the person who suffers from somatic pain to be unable to express what the pain is like, describing it as indescribable or very annoying. Likewise, psychosomatic pain can vary greatly from one person to another, presenting very different symptoms depending on the individual. However, the most common are the following:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and retching
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • May lose consciousness
  • Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation
  • In women there may be coital pain
  • Erectile dysfunction may appear in men.

However, depending on the level, the somatized problems can be much greater, even actually affecting the physical level. In these cases, the following may occur:

  • Intestinal ulcers or stomach ulcer .
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Heart attack symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Arterial hypertension

Somatic pain: diagnosis

As you will understand, it is often very difficult to reach the diagnosis that symptoms are caused by poor management of emotions. Before reaching that point, many times it is necessary to go through a multitude of studies, tests and explorations. At this point, the expertise of the physician in detecting some of the main characteristics of somatized diseases will be of great importance :

  • There are three or more symptoms without justification in different organs.
  • The pain has persisted for more than 2 years.
  • The patient has an anxiety disorder, depression or drug abuse.

In addition, there are other signs that can help us detect the origin of the problem, such as an extensive medical history of tests and visits to the hospital or a dramatic exposure of pain.

Somatic symptoms: treatment

If it is already difficult to reach a diagnosis, treatment may be even more difficult. Taking into account that the origin of the problem is purely psychological and, however, the person suffers from them as a physical one, it is very difficult to make them understand that it is anxiety that is causing these symptoms. In fact, this is the last response the patient expects, who experience it as something very real and can claim lack of attention to their treatment.

As we have seen previously, the degrees of somatization can vary greatly, which is quite common in all cases is that the pain is chronic . In fact, it is very difficult for long periods of time to go by without symptoms appearing. The first step in treatment is to accept that even if a clear cause is not observed, the suffering the patient is experiencing is real and requires help.

Symptomatic treatment can make the day to day more bearable, but it will not cure the person. It is necessary to go to the root of the problems, to the main cause, in order to solve it and make the symptoms disappear. If we take into account that in the case of diseases that are somatized, the root is found in an emotional problem of anxiety disorder, the best possible medicine is to take therapy and psychological monitoring .

In the following FastlyHealarticle you will discover some tricks to cure anxiety , which can be of great help to relieve somatic symptoms.

Prevention of new symptoms

The specialist must be alert in case the person ends up developing any disease at an organic level. In this sense, it is very important that regular visits are made in order to detect any symptoms that appear.

On the other hand, the doctor can teach or advise techniques to the patient so that he learns to manage his stress levels appropriately . Meditation or regular exercise are a great way to do this.

The objective of the treatment should not be so much to end the symptoms that cause discomfort, but to know how to detect their origin so that in this way the patient learns to live with these problems, which will eventually lead to the symptoms disappearing.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is somatizing a disease , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental disorders .

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