Psychosomatic disorders can be interpreted as a reaction to the soul on the physical (soma). According to the American Psychosomatic Society (2005), psychosomatic disorders derived from the Greek (Psyche = soul and Soma = physical), so it can be interpreted as a psychosomatic physical and mental relationship. There is a very close relationship between physical factors, faktos psychological, and social to the way a disease.
Psikomatik disorder may be able to answer, “Why can someone have a heart attack after a fight with his boss?, Why rheumatic diseases so much pain when disabling stress?, Why heart disease mortality is influenced by the presence or absence of depression?”
A disease can arise due to many factors. The disease can arise as a result of environmental or social factors. The disease can arise also due to genetic factors and heredity. Various factors will interact with the complex.
Psychological factors can trigger the emergence of a physical disorder, such as sleep disturbances due to anxiety, stress-related neck muscle pain or diarrhea and heartburn caused by fear.
Psychological factors may also influence the clinical course of a disease, such as stroke patients with depression will have relatively functional status is worse than no stress, coronary heart disease mortality is influenced by the presence or absence of depression.
Psychological factors affecting various organs of the body through a complex mechanism between neural factors, hormonal, and immunological. Chronic stress can affect the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hormonal system (axis hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal).
Racing adrenal hormone system linked to prolonged suppression of the immune system (immune system) because of steroid hormones. This explains why a person with chronic stress is more easily hurt. Racing the sympathetic nervous system to explain the emergence of hypertension, stroke, and coronary heart disease due to emotional stress.
In some cases, psychosomatic disorders can appear strange and conversion reactions can not be explained by medical science. Sudden blindness, sudden paralysis, or numbness are common in nature freak. Patients generally are young, mostly women and preceded by a clear stressor. These patients will undergo various examinations with normal results. Author encountered several cases of conversion, and the very act of psychotherapy help cure patients.
In general, patients with psychosomatic disorders strongly believes that the source of the pain is really coming from the organs in the body. In the day-to-day clinical practice, health care providers are often faced with the patient and his family request for laboratory examination and imaging (x-ray).
Imaging examinations can help to reduce anxiety in patients and their families. When the results of the examination is normal, then there should be no excessive worries about a serious disease conditions. Consider the example of Miss E above, he would not consulted the psychologist or psychiatrist because he was convinced that the source of the pain is physical and not psychological.
Why is this happening? Sociological study by Nettleton (2006) illustrates that the patient “rather to suffer real pain in nature”. Most patients will also be very resistant when told that the pain associated with psychosocial stressors.
Human nature would not like to live in uncertainty, so that the patient will still find out what the exact cause of his illness. This makes the search will continue to be an organic cause. A patient of chronic primary headache is likely to undergo an MRI, CT Scan of the head, EEG and various laboratory tests to look for an answer “there is something wrong with me”.
The author has conducted a study presented at the national meeting of Indonesian Pain Society (August 2007). Research would like to uncover the patient’s expectations of primary chronic headache (mostly muscle tension-type headache). Muscle tension-type headache is a form of psychosomatic disorders are common.
The results showed that the main thing patients want is to “find out where it originated headache”. This search process can be very costly and the resources available. This study is similar to studies Davies, et al (2005) in 52 headache patients in a tertiary pain clinic. The results showed that 77% of patients still want to know the source of head pain and 33% still want additional examination.
How a man with psychosomatic disorders can be treated?
A health officer must see the patient or client as being physical, psychological, social, and spiritual whole. A patient’s complaints should be taken seriously (no matter how strange the complaint).
Research shows that psychosomatic patients are often not satisfied with the medical care that he got the response due to a doctor who is not serious about his illness. The patient will tend to move the doctor or hospital without results.
A patient will be more comfortable and satisfied to get a clear explanation about the disease, information and clear instructions, and a thorough examination (Verbeck, 2005).
Consider the words of Hippocrates, a patient will feel more comfortable with a greeting, smile and when heard with empathy. Good communication in the goal to explore the stressor, and often required counseling actions. Research shows that clinical psychological interventions are very helpful in many cases. Multidisciplinary cooperation is necessary for the good of the patient.
So if you often have a variety of complaints but when examined also found no disease problems, the answer is probably psychosomatic disorders that occur more toward psychological problems.