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Mental illness


Diseases of the internal organs and systems of the body that arise as a result of exposure to mental or emotional factors. As people say, these are diseases that appear "on the nerves." The most famous of them: bronchial asthma, peptic ulcer and duodenal ulcer, ulcerative colitis, hypertension, migraine, diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis, rheumatoid arthritis, urticaria, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, many sexual disorders, as well as menstrual irregularities in women, climacteric syndrome and so on. Despite the fact that all these diseases are different, they share a number of common symptoms.
1. The onset of the disease is provoked by mental factors (mental trauma, emotional stress), the effect of which can be short-term (death of a loved one), quite long (conflict in the family, at work, illness of a loved one) or chronic (the presence of insoluble problems due to personal features, inferiority complex, ugliness).
2. Not only the onset of the disease is associated with a stressful situation, but also any exacerbation or relapse of the disease.
3. The course of the disease to a certain extent depends on the sex and stage of puberty. For example, bronchial asthma before puberty is 2 times more likely to occur 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, while coronary disease and arterial hypertension are more common in men.
4. Psychosomatic disorders usually occur in phases and their exacerbations are more or less seasonal. So, seasonal autumn-spring exacerbations are characteristic of peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, and during psoriasis, summer and winter forms are distinguished.
5. Psychosomatic diseases occur in individuals with a genetic and constitutional predisposition. Practitioners know this fact well. In heredity, a person suffering from hypertension is necessarily "hypertensive", peptic ulcer - "ulcers." The same emotional stress causes different reactions and diseases in different people. This difference is determined not only by a genetic predisposition to certain diseases, but also by characterological features. If a person has a quick-tempered, excitable, prone to aggressive reactions and forced to restrain them usually increases blood pressure, then a person is shy, impressionable, with an inferiority complex - ulcerative colitis.
Psychosomatic diseases are diseases of the disordered adaptation (adaptation, protection) of the body. A person constantly exists under stress, because It is not isolated from environmental influences. G. Cellier argued that even "a sleeping person is under stress ... Complete freedom from stress means death." However, the influence of an external factor can be so strong that the body's defenses can not cope with stress, and a painful condition occurs. The border between the adaptation reaction and the disease is arbitrary 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 is much higher than that of an old, physically weak person who has already been subjected 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 dooms himself to “destruction” by it.
The connection between the psyche and the body is carried out through the autonomic nervous system and manifests itself in the form of various autonomic-vascular reactions. The psychogenic situation as a provoking factor initially triggers a general non-specific adaptation reaction. Most often there are three types of such reactions: 1) reaction from the excretory organs - salivation, sweating, vomiting, rapid urination, diarrhea ("bear disease"). May arise when anxious before an exam, a responsible report, etc .; 2) temperature reaction. An increase in temperature is often observed in children in any stressful situation (teething, severe crying, overwork). A temperature reaction is also characteristic of some women, and in a prolonged psycho-traumatic situation subfebrile condition can remain (37.0-37.5 ± C); 3) a reaction from the cardiovascular system in the form of cardiac spasms, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations.
Any non-specific reaction may be accompanied by anxiety or fear. With repeated exposure to psychogenic factors or in a prolonged psycho-traumatic situation, the response to stress acquires specificity in the form of damage to individual organs and systems of the body. In other words, the target organ, which has a hereditary predisposition to it, is affected. At the initial stage, somatic disorders are functional and in some cases mask or blind mental illness (neurosis, depression). In the future, the disease becomes persistent or even irreversible, which complicates its treatment.
Features of the development of psychosomatic diseases also dictate the peculiarity of therapeutic intervention. First of all, it is necessary to stop the direct somato-vegetative reaction of the body (rise in blood pressure, pain in the heart, perforation of the ulcer). Then it is necessary to attach psychotropic drugs (tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, nootropics), indirectly stabilizing physical functions. In addition, the entire process of treating damaged organs and systems should be accompanied by psychotherapy aimed at correcting the personality traits of the patient, his reaction to the environment, resolving the traumatic situation, resolving relationships in the family, etc. Only the entire medical complex can contribute to recovery. To implement this complex, consultation and assistance from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or neuropsychiatrist is required.






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