Do we cause our own illnesses?
Psychosomatic disorders are well known and accepted causes for multiple diseases involving the mind (psyche) and body (soma). For example, when we are afraid or anxious adrenaline is released often producing several of the following symptoms: a fast heart rate, fast breathing, wide eyes, palpitations, feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches and a knot in the stomach. This is the body’s way of protecting itself, creating the flight, fright and fight response which increases the body readiness to react. Some physical diseases are thought to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. However, the term psychosomatic disorder is mainly used to mean … “a physical disease that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors”. Some people also use the term psychosomatic disorder when mental factors cause physical symptoms, but where there is no physical disease. For example, a chest pain may be caused by stress, and no physical disease can be found. Whichever way the disorder is interpreted, it clearly shows that the mind and body impact upon each other.