Psychosomatic. Part II.
In the first part of this article, we looked at what a functional disorder is. With functional impairment, the patient experiences malaise and real symptoms, but the doctor does not detect any diseases of organs and systems. It follows that we should look for the cause from the mental health side.
To avoid physical ailments, which arise under the pressure of the psyche, you need to adhere to 8 rules:
1. Hobbies can help reduce mental and physical stress. If you do your favorite activity regularly, you can even get rid of anxiety.
2. Find additional ways to relax. Surprising as it may sound, but physical activity promotes relaxation. It can be not only yoga but also work in the garden and walks.
3. Examine yourself and try to analyze how you react to stress. Try to develop a different pattern of behavior and reaction to a stressful situation. At first it will not be easy, but just as we pump muscles in the gym it is possible to develop our own reaction.
4. Experiencing weakness or malaise? Consider whether the events that caused you stress preceded it. All body signals can tell you that you need to relax and distract yourself.
5. Try to draw or describe each stressful situation. Describe what people and events caused the conflict situation. Try to find a solution to the problem and draw or describe it.
6. Include in your schedule a visit to a psychologist or psychotherapist. A good professional will help make sense of your conflict or problem if you can't form an objective opinion.
7. Socialize regularly with friends, but only with those who are optimistic. Choose neutral topics of conversation: there are a psychologist and psychotherapist for your problems. Also, try to reduce communication with people who are constantly talking about their problems. They also have a psychologist or psychotherapist for this purpose.
8. At least once a week, arrange a day of gadget detox. Warn your relatives about it to reduce their worries. Gadget detox involves giving up your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, radio and other electronic devices. Spend the day in nature or read a book. You can dedicate the day to self-care, cooking or your favorite hobby.
Our certified Mexican pharmacy offers anti-anxiety and sleeps aids. Consult your doctor or our pharmacist if the medication is appropriate in your particular case.
What kinds of therapies are used to treat psychosomatic disorders and functional disorders?
Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis
With psychoanalysis, it is possible to eliminate the causes of mental disorders by changing the whole personality, and therefore one should not expect quick positive results from psychoanalysis. The causes of mental disorders lie deep within childhood. If unresolvable conflicts arise in relations with parents, siblings or other persons of the immediate environment, they are trying to be forced out of consciousness using a special mechanism of psychological protection. If this defense strategy does not work, symptoms of illness appear. During a session of psychoanalysis, the patient tells the therapist about dreams and shares his or her thoughts and experiences.
The psychotherapist analyzes the material presented by the patient «laid down in memory» and helps him to understand the root cause of the conflict. Psychoanalysis do not solve the problem quickly; it is a slow and gradual process. Psychoanalysis is based on those ways of identifying the causes of the disease which seek for psychotherapeutic purposes the origins of the acute, provoking conflict (focus) in the mental development of the childhood period. These causes, hidden in the vast majority of cases in the patient's subconscious, must be identified in the process of treatment and returned to his consciousness. Against this painful process, all the mental forces of the patient's inner resistance rebel. The theory of psychoanalysis posits that analyzing this confrontation and releasing the emotions to the psychoanalyst will eventually uncover the true root cause of the conflict.
In contrast to psychoanalysis, behavioral therapy (behavior modification) has the goal of alleviating or even treating identified psychiatric symptoms without concern for their underlying causes. This method is particularly well suited for the treatment of specific behavioral disorders, such as fears (of airplanes or spiders), inability to communicate with people, the correction of attitudinal behavior or cases of eating disorders.
During the session, the patient, in a relaxed, fear-free state, is subject to a mild stimulus, but in a form that the patient can tolerate. Behavioral therapy may also use exposure to a very strong stimulus that causes panic (so-called irritant overdose). At the beginning of the course, such therapy is always conducted under the supervision of a physician.
Positive forms of behavior are reinforced by training (assimilation techniques). For example, in cases of fear of flying, the therapist first carries out relaxation and breathing exercises with the patient in a model airplane. Their goal is to reduce the physical response to fear and to reduce the feeling of fear itself. «Relaxation» is then gradually built up--until the patient can to fly alone.
Cognitive therapy (based on specific features of the human cognitive sphere) combines elements of psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy and is applied to many mental disorders. This method of treatment is based on the assumption that certain situations or stimuli unleash the false patterns of thinking that arose in childhood and that have subsequently become the starting point for mental disorders. The goal of cognitive therapy is to identify and change false behavioral patterns, such as «I must be perfect and then everyone will love me».
This type of therapy is suitable for counseling and short-term therapy of a person's state of mind during life crises. According to the fundamental concepts of this therapy, the person has a great potential for self-healing. This is activated during a psychotherapy session. For his part, the psychotherapist has to create a relaxed and conducive atmosphere for conversation. After the session, the person comes to terms with his or her problems independently and becomes more open to changes in his or her life.
Each therapy may be supplemented with sedatives and other medications to stabilize the person. In our online Mexican pharmacy, such medications are presented in the Anxiety section.
Psychotherapy helps about 2/3 of patients who complain of psychosomatic illness and functional disorders. Ask your doctor for a treatment plan, so you can enjoy life to the fullest.