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Psychomatic diseases

Diseases of internal organs and systems of the body, resulting from the impact of mental or emotional factors. As they say, these are diseases that appear "on the nerves of the soil." The most famous of them are bronchial asthma, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, ulcerative colitis, hypertension, migraine, diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, rheumatoid arthritis, urticaria, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, many sexual disorders, and menstrual disorders in women, climacteric syndrome and so on. Despite the fact that all these diseases are different, they are united by a number of common symptoms.
1. The onset of the disease is triggered by mental factors (mental trauma, emotional stress), which can be short-term (death of a loved one), rather long (conflict in the family, at work, illness of a loved one) or chronic (unsolvable problems due to personality problems). features, an inferiority complex, deformities).
2. Not only the onset of the disease is associated with a stressful situation, but any aggravation or relapse of the disease.
3. The course of the disease to a certain extent depends on the sex and puberty stage. For example, bronchial asthma before puberty is 2 times more common in boys than in girls, while in more mature age it is more common in women than in men. Chronic urticaria and thyrotoxicosis are more common in women, and coronary disease and hypertension in men.
4. Psychosomatic disorders usually take place in phases and their exacerbations are, to varying degrees, seasonal. So, seasonal autumn-spring exacerbations are peculiar to gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer, and in the course of psoriasis, summer and winter forms are distinguished.
5. Psychosomatic diseases occur in individuals with a genetic and constitutional predisposition. Practitioners this fact is well known. In heredity, a person suffering from hypertension necessarily has "hypertension", a peptic ulcer - "ulcers". The same emotional stress causes different reactions and diseases in different people. This difference is determined not only by genetic predisposition to certain diseases, but also by characterological features. If a person is quick-tempered, excitable, prone to aggressive reactions and forced to restrain them, blood pressure usually increases, then in a shy, impressionable person, with an inferiority complex, nonspecific ulcerative colitis.
Psychosomatic diseases are diseases of impaired adaptation (adaptation, protection) of the organism. A person constantly exists under stress, because It is not isolated from environmental influences. G. Selye argued that even "a sleeping person is under stress ... Full freedom from stress means death." However, the impact of an external factor can be so strong that the body's defenses can not cope with stress, and a painful condition occurs. The boundary between the adaptation reaction and the disease is conditional and depends both on the strength and duration of the influencing factor itself, and on the psychological and physical state of the person. Of course, the adaptive (adaptive) capabilities of a young, strong, physically healthy, optimistic person are much higher than those of the old, physically weak, who have been exposed to stressful influences more than once. It depends on the initial state whether a person will actively seek a way out of a stressful situation or passively condemn himself to being “destroyed” by it.
The connection between the psyche and the body is carried out through the vegetative nervous system and manifests itself in the form of various autonomic-vascular reactions. The psychogenic situation as a provoking factor first starts a general non-specific adaptation reaction. Three types of such reactions are most common: 1) a reaction on the part of the excretory organs - salivation, sweating, vomiting, frequent urination, diarrhea ("bear disease"). May occur with excitement before an exam, a responsible report, etc .; 2) temperature reaction. Temperature increase is often observed in children in any stressful situation (teething, crying a lot, overwork). Temperature reaction is characteristic for some women, and in a long-term traumatic situation a subfebrile condition can hold (37.0-37.5 ± С); 3) the reaction of the cardiovascular system in the form of cardiac spasms, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations.
Any nonspecific reaction may be accompanied by anxiety or fear. With repeated influences of psychogenic factors or in conditions of a long-term traumatic situation, the response to stress acquires specificity in the form of damage to individual organs and body systems. In other words, the target organ that has a hereditary predisposition is affected. At the initial stage, somatic disorders are functional and in some cases they mask or blind mental illnesses (neuroses, depressions). In the future, the disease becomes persistent or even irreversible, which complicates its treatment.
The peculiarities of the development of psychosomatic diseases dictate the peculiarity of therapeutic intervention. First of all, it is necessary to stop the direct somato-vegetative reaction of the body (the rise of blood pressure, heart pain, perforation of the ulcer). Then it is necessary to add psychotropic drugs (tranquilizers, antidepressants, hypnotics, nootropics), indirectly stabilizing physical functions. In addition, the whole process of treating damaged organs and systems must be accompanied by psychotherapy aimed at correcting the patient’s personality traits, his reactions to the environment, resolving a traumatic situation, settling family relationships, etc. Only the entire medical complex can contribute to recovery. Consultation and assistance of a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or neuropsychiatrist is required to put this complex into practice.

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