What is a psychosomatic disorder? What are its remedies?

Psychosomatic disorders are the disorders where a patient experiences pain which does not have any physical cause. This is a disease where both mind and body are related to causing the pain. Mental factors play a significant role in the expression, development or resolution of the physical illness.

Mind [psyche] and body [soma] are both involved hence it is named as a psychosomatic disorder or somatoform disorder.

A few of the types of psychosomatic disorders are

  1. Hypochondria's

  2. Pain disorder

  3. Somatization disorder

  4. Unspecified somatoform disorder


  • Depression, anger, anxiety, stress are the first symptoms of psychosomatic disorders.

  • The psychological stress one undergoes results in physical pain and disease. Mind affects the body somewhere causing imbalance or pain.

  • Generally, acidity, back-pain, neck-pain, anger, forgetfulness are first observed as symptoms in patients with this type of disease.

  • Excess fatigue, feeling faint or giddy, Dryness in the mouth, Palpitations, Nausea and headache, perspiration or sweating, chest pain or some pain in any other part of the body are some the physical disorders people face due to stress.

  • Tremors or any other neurological problem are also categorized under psychosomatic disorders.

Psychosomatic disorders exhibit physical symptoms to mask the emotional distress that a patient is undergoing. All the above physical symptoms and the distress of the patient are out of proportion with the medical test reports or physical examination of the patient. Diagnosis reveals no real disorder yet patient undergoes trauma.


Somatic disorders are more effectively treated when one visits a psychiatrist rather than a physician as the root cause is more psychological. There are a few suggested treatments that the patient can take:

  1. Group therapy

  2. Psychodynamic psychotherapy

  3. Cognitive behavior therapy

  4. Mindfulness training

  5. In person treatment

  6. In vivo exposure therapy

  7. Intensive weekend programming

  8. Telephonic therapy

  9. Hypnosis

  10. Medication using antidepressants or inhibitors.

Cognitive behavior therapy is considered to be the most successful therapy as it tries to understand the root cause of the problem by observing the symptoms and tries to teach methods in which the patient can learn to handle these stress triggers.

Hypnosis is also said to provide a good source of relief to somatoform patients.

Preventing Psychosomatic disorder

A psychotherapist would advise the patients who experience a few symptoms leading to this disorder, to prevent the disease by following these suggestions.

  • Take regular intervals of a break at work to reduce fatigue and stress.

  • Try not to think about what is causing the stress and to try and avoid the situations or factors responsible to trigger this distress.

  • Observe fasting as a therapy to create a balance between mind and body.

  • Yoga or meditation can help reduce stress and mitigate the psychological factor that is leading to this somatoform disorder.