Tag Archives: mental illness

Somatic Symptom Disorder

Somatic Symptom Disorder, previously known as Somatization, is a condition which causes one to unconsciously develop physical symptoms due to psychological distress, sometimes related to an existing physical condition.

Typically, the symptoms cannot be explained by another physical or mental condition. In other words, there is no identifiable cause for the symptoms. However, the symptoms are real, not imagined.

 

Somatic Symptom Disorder is considered a form of mental illness, even though the symptoms are  real.

 

Somatic Symptom Disorder from Osmosis.org

 

Pain is one of the more common symptoms and naturally should be taken seriously in order to rule out other medical conditions. Always consult with a doctor when any new symptoms arise.

New manifestations of symptoms are sometimes related to fear – fear that one has a new condition or fear that a condition is getting worse.

As you might assume, this can be a debilitating condition that keeps patients isolated due to perceived or actual physical manifestations.

Examples

Somatization related to a physical condition

For instance, a person with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may become stressed about having flare-ups in a particular situation, such as work or while out shopping. This added stress can exacerbate the condition and cause stomach pain, which leads to an actual flare-up.

 

Somatization not related to a physical condition

A person who has fainting spells or extreme pain not related to a physical condition. These are usually caused by health anxiety. Perhaps this person has had a previous health condition and is overly anxious about a recurrence.

 

Somatization or Hypochondria

Somatic Symptom Disorder is not the same as Hypochondria. A Hypochondriac has extreme anxiety regarding their health, just as those with Somatic Symptom Disorder. The difference is that there is usually no cause for alarm. Hypochondria consists of extreme stress and anxiety over imaginary physical developments, not actual symptoms.

This person may spend unusual amounts of time inspecting their own body; attempting to self-diagnose by doing their own research, calling someone for advice, or visiting their doctor or clinic.

 

References

 

Video from Osmosis.org

What is somatic symptom disorder? Somatic symptom disorder, sometimes called somatoform disorder, is defined as having unexplainable physical symptoms, which often lead to cognitive symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misconceptions of Schizophrenia

A recent article focused on Separation of Church and State because a governor in the US does not believe in mental illness.

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

In that article, I spoke of the mentally ill who become violent through no fault of their own.

However, in my passion for writing about the interventions that are needed across America, I neglected to point out that not everyone who is mentally ill becomes violent.

I was shocked to realize that I had contributed to the misconceptions and stigmas associated with mental illness, and for that, I am deeply ashamed and am committed to be more mindful while writing content in the future.

Michael Hedrick’s article on “5 Things You Should Know About People With Schizophrenia revealed how important it is to make sure people understand the many nuances of a mental illness, or a physical illness.

While it is true that some people can become violent or threaten violence, it is certainly not the case for all people coping with schizophrenia. I know people with schizophrenia that are coping well with their illness.

I’ve also known of precarious situations, such as when a friend pulled a gun on a person she loved because the patient thought the loved one was spying on them for the government. This particular situation did not end in violence or harm. The problem was that the patient was not on medication because she had not been properly diagnosed, even though she exhibited symptoms.

Doctors cannot read minds. It is up to the family and the patient to properly inform a physician so that proper referrals and a diagnosis can be made. Another problem in receiving proper treatment is that often the patient will not allow anyone to accompany them to the doctor, therefore the doctor has no information other than what the patient gives him or her.

But – there are also people like Michael.

Read Michael’s story at Psychology Today. In it, he successfully dispels some misconceptions of Schizophrenia.