Are You Really Sick Or Is It All In Your Mind?

Men are mere mortals who can be as tough as a horse but also get sick at times. Our bodies can only do so much depending on how much we take good care of it. Meanwhile, we can get diseases that are out of the norm and affect the mind. Many times we doubt its existence, wondering whether it is just us or there is really something wrong with us after all.

What you need to know is that you may actually be sick but you don’t know it yet or are probably too embarrassed to get yourself checked and be seen by a doctor. When it comes to your health, nothing is irrelevant or too embarrassing to ask. And the truth is, knowing what is really wrong with you is better than staying clueless yet depressed until something terribly bad happens to you. After all, prevention still prevails to be better than cure.

We’ve probably all experienced physical reactions to psychological triggers. That hot flush that creeps across your cheeks when embarrassed; the gut-wrenching nausea that hits when you receive bad news; palpitations when nervous…

These are known as ‘psychosomatic’ physical symptoms where there’s no obvious medical cause, and so it’s believed that psychological or emotional factors are to blame.

Psychosomatic issues are real and not just a figment of your imagination. It is just as deadly as any physical condition most people know of. And it is probably high time we recognize these issues as the real threat they really are.

A hidden problem

“Psychosomatic disorders are really, really common, but for some reason, people don’t talk about them; it’s a hidden problem,” says O’Sullivan. “To think that one in three people in a neurology clinic have this sort of disorder – and yet most people have never have heard about it – is really shocking.”

Real illness

It’s easy to dismiss psychosomatic problems as purely ‘imaginary’ or ‘pretend’, but O’Sullivan points out that it’s far more complex than that, and should be recognised as a “very real” condition.


Our mental health is just as crucial as our physical health. Many times it happens when mental issues translate into physical symptoms. Depression can leave you anxious, irritable, sleepless, and the bags under your eyes won’t deny it.

The word psychosomatic refers to physical symptoms that occur for psychological reasons. Tears and blushing are examples of this, but they are normal responses that do not represent illness. It is only when psychosomatic symptoms go beyond the ordinary and impair our ability to function that illness results. Modern society likes the idea that we can think ourselves better. When we are unwell, we tell ourselves that if we adopt a positive mental attitude, we will have a better chance of recovery. I am sure that is correct. But society has not fully woken up to the frequency with which people do the opposite – unconsciously think themselves ill.

Psychosomatic disorders are conditions in which a person suffers from significant physical symptoms – causing real distress and disability – out of proportion to that which can be explained by medical tests or physical examination. Of course, a medically unexplained symptom is not necessarily psychosomatic. Some people have transient illnesses that do not reveal themselves in common investigations. Lots of viral infections, for example, do not show up on routine tests.


Once you realize that you have a problem, getting help becomes easier. A combination of conventional treatment and medications and alternative management can help address the issue.

Probable solutions to psychosomatic pain

Resolving psychosomatic pain requires more than just medicine. Simply treating the symptoms of pain will not resolve the issue. Health care practitioners need to go to the root of the pain and treat that ‘cause’.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help find out the real source of the pain by finding the connection between the physical pain and its possible psychological causes.

Stress management techniques can help individuals manage their physical and emotional health. For example, a study revealed that there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and spirituality at work among sales professionals, which provides the relevance of spirituality at work to salespeople. Studies have also shown the importance of Vipasana meditation and yoga in improving psychosomatic pain. [5]

Sometimes, non-narcotic painkillers and anti-depressants can help resolve psychosomatic pain. Studies show that antidepressants can help ameliorate many unexplained symptoms, even if the person is not depressed, because the neural pathways for negative psychological and physical symptoms such as pain and depression are closely related. [6]

Physical exercise and physiotherapy can in many cases relieve psychosomatic pain.

The influence of psyche on pain symptoms is much more widely recognised now. What is now required more than ever is for pharmacologists, neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons and psychiatrists to work together to deal with the issue of psychosomatic pain.


So, you see, even though you may have doubted your own sanity and confused the symptoms only you can feel as something make-believe, they are actually real and is a valid reason to be concerned about your health like any other more common health conditions afflicting mankind. Since most of these conditions are psychological, you need to go see the right doctor first, someone who is experienced in dealing with this aspect of human health or risk getting misdiagnosed and not receive the treatment you badly need.

There is no specific cure for psychosomatic conditions. Most management often offers palliative treatment, so you are no longer bothered by the symptoms. What you need is a combination therapy that not only addresses symptoms but improves your psyche as well. It includes meditation, yoga, and other relaxing techniques to clear your mind and help you manage your symptoms but at the same time improve your life disposition so your mental health is stronger and you can better manage stress from now on.

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