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A disorder that involves both mind and body is called a psychosomatic illness. In other words, the illness may be emotional or mental in origin but have physical symptoms. Psychosomatic illnesses are not imaginary. They are physical disorders in which both emotions and thought patterns are believed to play a central role, and usually develop when a person's disease-fighting ability is weakened due to stress. After a particularly stressful event, like the loss of a loved one, for example, an individual might develop high blood pressure shortly afterward or even have a heart attack. In another person, the same situation might lead to a peptic ulcer or a series of asthma attacks. A third individual, equally as grief-stricken, might not get sick at all. For a psychosomatic illness to occur, a person must first be vulnerable in a particular body system. It's important for these illnesses to be recognized and treated as soon as they occur.

Patient.Co.UK explains Psychosomatic Illness in the following way:

Psychosomatic means mind (psyche) and body (soma). A psychosomatic disorder is an illness which involves both mind and body. Some physical illnesses are thought to be particularly prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. Your current mental state can affect how bad a physical illness is at any given time.

Which illnesses are psychosomatic?

To an extent, most illnesses are psychosomatic - involving both mind and body.
There is a mental aspect to every physical illness. How we react to and cope with illness varies greatly from person to person. For example, the rash of psoriasis may not bother some people very much. However, the rash covering the same parts of the body in someone else may make them feel depressed and more ill.

There can be physical effects from psychological illness. For example, with some psychological illnesses you may not eat, or take care of yourself, very well which can cause physical problems.

However, the term psychosomatic disorder is mainly used to mean ... "a physical illness that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors".

Some physical illnesses are thought to be particularly prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. For example, psoriasis, eczema, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is thought that the actual physical part of the illness (the extent of a rash, the level of the blood pressure, etc) can be affected by mental factors. This is difficult to prove. However, many people with these and other physical illnesses say that their current mental state can affect how bad their physical illness is at any given time.

Some people also use the term psychosomatic disorder when mental factors cause physical symptoms, but where there is no physical illness. For example, a chest pain may be caused by stress, and no physical illness can be found.

How can the mind affect physical illnesses?

It is well known that the mind can cause physical symptoms. For example, when we are afraid or anxious we may develop: a fast heart rate, palpitations, feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, a knot in the stomach, and fast breathing. These physical symptoms are due to increased activity of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body, and to the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream when we are anxious.

However, the exact way that the mind can cause certain other symptoms is not clear. Also, how the mind can affect actual physical illnesses (rashes, blood pressure, etc) is not clear. It may have something to do with nervous impulses going to the body, which we do not fully understand. There is also some evidence that the brain may be able to affect certain cells of the immune system, which is involved in various physical illnesses.

I believe that all healing begins with relaxation and with the additional use of appropriate hypnotic suggestion many psychosomatic problems can be eased and often removed.