The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Psychosomatic Illness and Somataform Disorder

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Never Give Up, May 23, 2015.

  1. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

    Messages:
    956
    Likes:
    3,949
    I am intrigued by the social and historical origins of the belief in psychosomatic illnesses and somataform disorders and why these beliefs continue when the rest of medicine is moving toward science based paradigms. I personally do not believe they exist.

    @alex3619's signature is:

    Psychobabble ... I can't believe its not science!

    If we have a psychosomatic illness because a physical illness cannot be objectively shown, how is a psychosomatic illness any more valid since it cannot be objectively shown?

    Psychogenic Medicine - Dismiss, Reject, Object.

    A psychosomatic disorder is simply the belief that someone has a psychosomatic disorder. It is failure to diagnose. If there are any papers that prove the existence of any psychosomatic disorder, NAME ONE!?

    Medically Unexplained Symptoms are Psychosomatic? Psychosomatic illnesses are medically unexplained.

    I couldn't agree more.

    I'd like to make a study of this topic. Does anyone have any book or article recommendations on the topic?

    What is your take on the subject?
     
    Ruthie24, antares4141, SOC and 5 others like this.
  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes:
    3,663
    .
    'Authors of our own misfortune?': The problems with psychogenic explanations for physical illnesses Paperback – 4 Sep 2012
    by Angela Kennedy PhD (Author). Mother of an ME sufferer.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Authors-our-own-misfortune-explanations/dp/1479253952

    'Since the advent of "medicine" as a discrete practice, beliefs that bodily illness can somehow be caused by psychological, emotional, and behavioural "disorder" have been claimed by many in the discipline. Such beliefs became less creditable as scientific methods of detecting disease developed, with discoveries such as the physiological and anatomical abnormalities in Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis, for example, and the organisms causing syphilis and duodenal ulcers. Nevertheless, psychogenic explanations for illnesses still appear frequently within medical and academic literature, in "common sense" public discourses, and in medical diagnoses of patients.

    But how plausible are these explanations? 'Authors of our Own Misfortune?' proposes that psychogenic explanations for physical illnesses are subject to a complex mix of confusing concepts, accompanied by certain moralistic and ideological assumptions about people and their illnesses. Most crucially, such explanations are also, almost always, fatally flawed, both scientifically and logically. Furthermore, the widespread, uncritical acceptance and use of such explanations has had serious and specific adverse effects on the people upon whom they are used.

    This is a timely, groundbreaking book about a critical theme in medicine. It provides rigorous analysis of the claims made about "mental disorder" and bodily illness, using current "medical controversies" (such as, but not limited to, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) to demonstrate the problems with and adverse effects of such claims. Authors of our Own Misfortune? is essential reading for academics, health professionals, and those directly or indirectly affected by psychogenic explanations for illness.'
    .
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
    jimells and Never Give Up like this.
  3. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

    Messages:
    816
    Likes:
    3,397
    UK
  4. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

    Messages:
    816
    Likes:
    3,397
    UK
    I think people should define "psychosomatic". Because are we really trying to say that thoughts/feelings/stress have no effect on our bodies ?

    For instance what would you call it when someone is worried about something .. and doesn't want to eat/can't sleep/feels all achey and unwell ? These are real physical effects from anxiety.

    I'd say that is psychosomatic in the basic sense of the term, but it is a limited thing. Tends to be obvious what is going on, it's transient, reproducible and common across most people (same sort of symptom clusters, as it operates through known physiological sysytems).

    The problem is when anything deemed to be "unexplained" is then labeled as psychosomatic without any credible mechanism, or when we are supposed to magically think ourselves better from illness (not even just passing sensation) through some sort of mind control.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes:
    3,562
    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    "Medicine" is a RELIGION, and Psychiatry is a cult
    that explains it in a nutshell

    It's superstitious thinking, got sod all to do with Logic and Facts
     
    jimells, PeterPositive, SDSue and 3 others like this.
  6. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes:
    23,189

    That says it all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Christian_August_Heinroth
     
    jimells, Roy S, SilverbladeTE and 9 others like this.
  7. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes:
    17,174
    Cargo cult science.
     
    SilverbladeTE likes this.
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes:
    35,116
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    This is the original meaning of the term, the mind affecting the body, dating back to the late 19th century. However Charcot and then Freud brought in the idea of mind causing disease, and this influenced the meaning so psychosomatic usually meant the mind causes the disease, it does not just influence it.

    I prefer the almost synonym psychogenic for the specific claim that the mind causes disease. Which is completely hypothetical and never substantiated.

    Angela Kennedy's book (here is an Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Authors-our-own-misfortune-explanations/dp/1479253952 ) discusses this from a logical and sociological perspective. Skewed by Walker (my review starts here: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?entries/greenwashing.1258/ ) looks at it from an historical and political perspective, focusing on modern times. There are a few others specifically dealing with ME, as these two do, but they escape me at the moment.

    You might also like to read some of my other blogs, as many of them touch on this issue, particularly:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?entries/the-witch-the-python-the-siren-and-the-bunny.1149/
     
  9. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    765
    Likes:
    2,821
    I hope it will be outlawed one day.
     
    SilverbladeTE, Never Give Up and ahmo like this.
  10. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,340
    Likes:
    6,528
    Northcoast NSW, Australia
    @chipmunk1 Liked especially for your signature quotes.:vomit:
     
    AndyPandy and Never Give Up like this.
  11. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

    Messages:
    956
    Likes:
    3,949
    What is the "cargo" part referring to?
     
  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes:
    35,116
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I don't think its completely going away for a long time, but I think at some point it will be viewed right up there with alchemy, astrology, and sock puppets.
     
  13. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

    Messages:
    956
    Likes:
    3,949
    Thank you! I'm looking forward to reading all of your recommendations.

    It seems to me that health and religion have been intertwined forever. I have a hunch that when science was applied to health and became influential, people shifted their investment in health beliefs from god x,y, or z to the "science" of health. I am very interested in that shift as the foundation for the psychogenic theories, and how they perpetuate without evidence to the detriment of so many.
     
  14. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

    Messages:
    956
    Likes:
    3,949
    Maybe we can help it along.
     
  15. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    765
    Likes:
    2,821
    i think health is so complicated and be controlled so poorly that one way to deal with that unpleasant reality is to come up with superstitions which give us the illusion of control.
     
  16. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

    Messages:
    900
    Likes:
    3,985
    N.Ireland
    ahmo and Never Give Up like this.
  17. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes:
    17,174
    It's an expression.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_science
     
  18. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    765
    Likes:
    2,821
    the difference between the cargo cults and psychosomatics is that cargo cult practices were inspired by real occurrences while psychosomatic medicine was based on lies and fantasies.
     
  19. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes:
    23,189
    Speaking of cargo cults: amusingly, modern psychotherapy does resemble cargo cults in so far they believe that merely acting or thinking like a healthy person will result in a recovery.
     
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes:
    35,116
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Have you read the inquisition text Hammer of Witches, which is a free download and translated to English.? It deals with religious explanations for disease, and how to identify a witch. Samuel Wales, an ME blogger, also writes about this, and has an interesting site. I will have to try to find it but I am going afk for a while.
     
    Never Give Up likes this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page