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Psychosomatic disorders - Synonyms

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Bob, May 8, 2013.

  1. Bob

    Bob

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    I'd like to compile a brief list of synonyms for 'psychosomatic' terminology that has been used to describe ME. And any similar terminology.
    I'm always forgetting the terminology that they use, and I get confused by all the different names and definitions.
    I'd also quite like to put them in chronological order, in terms of when they came into existence, if anyone has any insight into this.


    I believe that Wessely and Co's current favourite is "functional somatic syndrome", or similar.


    Psychosomatic diagnoses - list of similar terminology (Alphabetical order):

    Abnormal illness behaviour
    All in the mind
    Behavioural disorder
    Bodily distress syndrome (BDS)
    Chronic multi-symptom illness
    Conversion disorder
    False illness beliefs
    Functional neurological deficit
    Functional disorder
    Functional somatic disorder
    Functional somatic syndrome
    Hypochondria / Hypochondriasis
    Hysteria
    Mass hysteria
    Mass psychogenic illness
    Medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness
    Medically unexplained disorders
    Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS)
    Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)
    Neurasthenia
    Physical symptom disorder
    Persistent unexplained physical symptoms (PUPS)
    Psychogenic illness
    Psychosomatic illness.
    Somatic Symptom Disorder
    Somatization disorder
    Somatisation of mental illness/anxiety.
    Somatoform disorder



    Other terminology that has been inappropriately used to describe ME patients:

    Factitious disorder
    Malingering




    Have I missed anything? Have I included any that shouldn't be in the list?
    If anyone would like me to include informational links to any of the categories, then please let me know.
    Many of them have a Wikipedia entry.



    And here's Wessely and White's delightful paper on the subject of the "functional somatic syndrome":

    There is only one functional somatic syndrome
    The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004)185: 95-96
    doi:10.1192/bjp.185.2.95
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/185/2/95.full

    And (via Tom Kindlon's Twitter account) here's what UK medical students are currently being taught about functional disorders, including CFS, in the 8th edition (2012) of the Kumar & Clark textbook, "Clinical Medicine":
    https://www.inkling.com/read/kumar-...ne-8th/chapter-23/functional-or-psychosomatic
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I must point out they may be analysing their own problems - 1) in normal slightly confused adolescence thought one might aid - he confessed to having dreams about me - I took off. 2) Collapsed in Accident and Emergency 3 junior Docs brought one in to persuade me "all in your mind". Now no matter long delayed diagnosis of hypothyroidism (well you don't collapse for nothing) these people are an anathema.
  3. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Bob likes this.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Neurasthenia, right after hysteria. Hysteria goes back to ancient Greece, but it was Charcot who really defined it in the nineteenth century. Neurasthenia was used not long after Charcot formalized the definition of hysteria. While definitions may have changed later, my reading of early hysteria and neurasthenia is they are basically the same thing, at least according to Freud ... but hysteria was primarily for women, and neurasthenia primarily for men. Later both were seen as occuring commonly in both sexes.

    Mass hysteria. Not sure when ... was used in 1970 though that I know of.

    If we add in all the weird names used for specific "psychosomatic" disorders, this could be a long list. I forget all those names though, they never really took off, just as the disorders they portrayed were later seen as physical.

    Somatic Symptom Disorder? As of DSM5.

    Some of these are also listed as a syndrome, not a disorder, I think.
    Allyson and Bob like this.
  5. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Allyson likes this.
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Allyson likes this.
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Bob Not all the conditions on your list are synonyms.

    I copied the following definitions from here:
    Note also that it says here that:

    Here it says that:

    Here it says that:

    The following document is also informative:
    Somatoform disorders – functional somatic syndromes – Bodily distress syndrome. Need for care and organisation of care in an international perspective.



    In any case, I'd like to point out that the basic conceptual foundation of a somatoform disorder is unscientific: in science, you cannot define something in terms of it being inexplicable. To define a somatoform disorder as a set of symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical diagnosis or by a physiological mechanism is scientifically untenable. Just because you cannot find a physical explanation for a disease and its symptoms at present, that does not mean you give up looking, and throw a disease into the category of a somatoform disorder.

    Only in religion can you define something in terms of it being inexplicable. I am not anti-relgion at all, but religion often has a tendency to ascribe all unexplained phenomena to God's will, rather than to search for rational, physical explanations. So if someone dies in a car crash in a very religious country, often the people there will say it was God's will, rather than look for the rational, physical explanations that underpin car crashes (explanations like say the lack of good road markings or the lack of proper training for drivers).
    MeSci likes this.
  8. Bob

    Bob

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    Thanks everyone. I've added the suggestions, in no particular order.

    I haven't included more specific diagnoses, such as "Body Dysmorphic Disorder", because I was after over-arching terms that are fairly similar to "psychosomatic", rather than more specific descriptions or diagnoses.
  9. Bob

    Bob

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    A couple more similar terms that I've added to the list:

    Functional neurological deficit
    Functional disorder
  10. Bob

    Bob

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    Hi Penny, I haven't added that to the list, because I can't see any info on the internet that suggests it's used in the same way as the other terms. Have you come across anything?
  11. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    I think you're right. I had actually come in and deleted it before I saw your reply. I think the fact that it makes it seem like it's actually a physical condition even though the end result is still a suggestion of only offering antidepressants as treatment just played out in my frustration. And why I ended up replying.
    Bob likes this.
  12. Bob

    Bob

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    Thanks Penny. I see what you mean. It's a totally unhelpful diagnosis.
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    If the list were to be disordered, hysteria is clearly the original disorder/definition.

    These are all psychosomatic disorder names, but such names are not synonyms as Hip pointed out ... that is they are not synonyms for each other. In recent decades the number of disorders has proliferated, each with its own arbitrary definition, and DSM-5 has been rejected by the NIMH in favour of developing new objective categories, though as its aiming at developing such categories it has its own reasons.

    To mention just one of the "old" names for specific issues, stress ulcers comes to mind. "Clearly" stress caused ulcers as no cause could be found (though such a cause was found in the nineteenth century in Germany) so it had to be all in the mind.

    Which brings me to the stock phrase "All in the Mind" which I think should be added, though its not a formal category.
  14. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Although not a formal diagnosis, Alex does touch upon stock phrases and concepts such as "all in the mind". A similar one is a supposed "lack of psyche-soma differentiation" where someone fails to realize that their physical symptoms are arising from emotional problems not disease.

    Others which come to mind are "attention seeking" and "trying to be difficult", the latter which could result in a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder for children who refuse the swallow the biopsychosocial ideology on their symptoms. There are others, and Bob already mentioned general "behavioural disorder"(s), but this one is the first I thought of:

  15. Bob

    Bob

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    I realise that they are not all exactly synonyms, and that some of the terms have, or can have, slightly different meanings.
    I first intended it to be a list of synonyms just for "functional somatic syndrome", and it became broader than I first intended it to be.
    It's a handy reference list, but perhaps I could make another list for terms that actually are just synonyms for "functional somatic syndrome".
    Does anyone happen to know which terms are more or less identical, or were precursors to "functional somatic syndrome"?
  16. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    My favorite is physical symptom disorder. That could describe just about any illness or injury.
    They are all synonyms for "the doctor doesn't have a clue" or maybe "the medical industry doesn't have a clue".
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  17. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    Huh. I didn't know there was a fancy diagnostic term for this. I always just call it "being a teenager."
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  18. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    What a coincidence - I just posted a link to a page about this in another thread:

    http://www.neurosymptoms.org/#/in-the-mind/4533053408

    It includes 'Non-Organic' and 'Psychogenic', and the pdf that you can download from a link on the right also includes 'Abnormal illness behaviour' as well as definitions that relate to deliberate fabrication of symptoms.

    It occurs to me that repeated redefinition serves a useful purpose for the psychoquacks, confusing people about what is being claimed, and presenting an ever-moving target for sceptics.
    Little Bluestem and Bob like this.
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Yes, MeSci, redefinition is at least in part because people wake up to what they are really saying, and they lose respect with patients. Also if you google search on one name, you don't see the complaints/issues/problems under the other names. Besides, new names gives a reason to sell new copies of the DSM. Its not the new names that protects them from criticism, its the continual redefinitions. I mean, someone showed their last definition was bogus, but the new one might not be!
    Bob likes this.
  20. Bob

    Bob

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    Thanks MeSci.

    I've added 'psychogenic' to the list, as it seems similar, after a brief read of the definition.

    But I believe that 'non-organic' can be used to identify emotional disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or developmental disorders that can stem, for example, from child abuse. I believe this is to distinguish such disorders from conditions such as brain damage, autism and schizophrenia, where there are measurable changes in brain structure which have 'organic' (i.e. biomedical) origins rather than emotional or developmental origins. (I'm not an expert, so I might have some of this wrong.)
    So I'm not sure if it should be added.

    And 'abnormal illness behaviour' seems to refer to a specific type of condition, unless I've misunderstood it, so I've not added that either.

    Yes, I think you're spot-on here. Once patients catch on to what their diagnosis means, the psychs quickly give it a new name.

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