Psychosomatic Illness and the Medical Profession
If you’ve been diagnosed with a psychosomatic illness you probably feel a bit cheated, right?
You know that you have the pain, the discomfort or sometimes even physical signs of illness, such as an itchy rash that won’t go away, so why are the doctors telling you that there is no physical explanation and that it must be psychological?
Before we go on, we have to say that every issue you have should always be dealt with by a properly trained medical professional first, before you do anything else. Doctors spend years learning how to diagnose and treat illnesses and unfortunately, in some cases, what you think may be a minor issue could have life or death implications so ALWAYS make your medical doctor your first port of call when you feel the first signs of anything abnormal in your mental, physical or emotional health.
We also need to be careful when talking about whether or not something can be ‘cured’. Legally, only medically trained practitioners can declare whether or not something can be ‘cured’ and, a lot of the time, they tell us that psychosomatic issues can’t be cured with traditional medical treatments, yet a lot of medically trained practitioners are now opening up to the possibility that these types of issues may be treated by other, less traditional methods, such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture or even meditation for some mental or emotional issues.
What is a psychosomatic Illness anyway?
A psychosomatic illness is something that the medical profession can’t properly diagnose. This is because there is no known cause or the treatments they have provided have not worked. This can happen in the case of rashes. A rash may look like eczema but no creams work, for example. The medical professional may then say that there is something going on psychologically (in the mind) that is causing the issue or sometimes they will say it is likely to be stress causing it.
This happened to me when I had ingrowing hairs on my legs. They got worse and worse and became infected, so I went to my GP who gave me the usual creams and so on, but he told me that the issue was likely caused by stress. I was working in a toxic work environment at the time, which was extremely stressful, and I hadn’t imagined that this could have been causing it, despite my knowledge and experience with the mind-body connection!
It was only when I left that job that the issue cleared up almost immediately. I then came across a book called ‘How to Heal your Body’ by Louise Hay, which is an amazing book if you are interested in the mind-body connection or you are currently experiencing a psychosomatic illness yourself. In this book, she states that some skin disorders are to do with being irritated with something in your life as if something is making your skin crawl or getting under your skin. This makes sense when you think about how the subconscious mind works as it is the subconscious’s way of communicating with us so that we can do something about the situation that is literally making us ill!
How can we treat psychosomatic illness?
As I stated earlier, we have to be careful when talking about cures; however, I do believe that psychosomatic illnesses can be treated in three main ways…
- Try to find a potential cause for your issue. If it is skin, what is getting under your skin? If it is a painful knee, where in your life are you feeling ‘needy’? or where in your life are you having difficulty moving forwards or standing up for yourself? Think about all of the metaphors your subconscious mind might be giving you, as this is its way of helping you as it’s main goal is to keep you safe. The Louise Hay book may help with this.
- Access some alternative treatments that may help – ask your medical practitioner to recommend potential treatments rather than going to look for them yourself as not all alternative practitoners are properly trained and safe to visit. As a hypnotherapist, I know, from experience, that hypnotherapy is extremely effective for psychosomatic illness as it gets to the root cause by communicating with the subconscious mind which has caused those symptoms to appear to get your attention.
- Make time for yourself – make sure you do regular meditation and other activities to help you relax and de-stress. Take time for hobbies and socialising with friends and family. Life is not all about hard work and doesn’t have to be stressful!
I hope you have found this article useful. If you want to learn more about this, I would highly recommend Louise Hay’s little book, that will give you a better idea of what your psychosomatic illness may be linked to; however, I have found, in the majority of cases that the medical profession is correct when it links most of these disorders to stress, so if you are suffering and want to find out more, check out the book here –Louise Hay Book.