There is a prejudice in our culture that becomes apparent when particular words are introduced to a conversation … “He’s seeing a psychiatrist.” … “She’s seeing a shrink”
Another word that often reveals our prejudice is “psychosomatic,” which conjures images of people who create illnesses for themselves that not not really exist. We assume that a psychosomatic condition is not REAL – only MENTAL – and the sufferer must be mentally imbalanced and unable to cope with reality.
The truth is that not one human experience is NOT psychosomatic! Every physical problem and condition is connected to a neurological condition. “Psychosomatic conditions” simply refers to a state in which both the mind and body are involved, the one affecting the other.
In recent science, more evidence is constantly turning up that reveals the intensely complex and dynamic interplay between mental states and physical states. Everything that we see, hear, smell, touch, taste and even think produces changes in our brain.
Further, the feelings we experience in response to our sensory perception of people, objects and events reflect electrical and chemical activity in our brains. In other words, our brains are producing emotion and, at the same time, our emotions effect our brain’s activity. Moreover, the neural activities in our brains are producing changes in our bodies.
Here is the important fact we must all remember: Psychosomatic conditions are REAL, having real origins and real symptoms. It is never about phantom pains or imaginary symptoms.
Popular opinion is that psychosomatic conditions involve a different set of problems than “real” medical conditions that can be identified by lab tests, probes, scans or actual visual and measurable proof. This is blatantly wrong.
In communicating this information to my patients, I have to stress the fact that I take their complaints seriously. I fully understand why they are experiencing so much suffering.
The assurance and attention I give to my patients is what I am attempting to do for you, my reader, because it is possible you may have an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed condition. Maybe you have seen a doctor and have heard, “There’s nothing to worry about. Take this painkiller and you’ll be fine. This is a routine case of too much stress.”
If you allow your condition to be minimized, you will have to continue to bear the discomfort and perhaps despair of a problem that is quite likely curable. Please contact me to set up an appointment (in person or on Skype) and let’s get you feeling better.