There is a lot of fear and drama associated with the word psychosomatic. I think it mostly has to do with the word’s prefix. The word psycho is associated with the word crazy, when in fact, it means spirit. And its suffix “somatic”, means body.
When we say or hear the word psychosomatic, we tend to identify the condition as abnormal. In reality, there is nothing more normal that exhibiting the symptoms of a psychosomatic illness. Additionally, when we learn that someone is suffering from a psychosomatic illness, we generally think that the person is pretending or possibly imagining her illness -this also probably has to do with the word “psycho”.
In reality, a psychosomatic disorder develops, as its name suggests, in one’s spirit as a result of accumulated emotional stress and insidious thought patterns. The dis-ease eventually progresses into a variety of physical symptoms (headaches, backaches, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.) -a physiological process that is most natural and real indeed. The complication, however, is that the modus operandi is usually unconscious, denied and/or shunned socially.
You have much to do at work before the end of the year and you realize you’re short staffed because a colleague decided to fly off to Cuba on a last-minute deal she found while surfing the net during working hours. You know your boss expects you to work overtime, but you don’t want to. It’s not your job to pick up your colleague’s load and you stress that you have plenty waiting for you at home to get prepared for the holidays. The pot is boiling but you don’t say anything. Perhaps because you don’t want to lose your job or perhaps because you don’t want your boss to be disappointed with good-old-reliable you. So, you keep your mouth shut as you’ve always had a tendency to do and you don’t express the added stress and frustration this situation is causing you.
You wake up the next day with an awful sore throat. The day after with body aches and fatigue. And two mornings later with acute bronchitis and a hellish fever. You’re done. You can’t go to work and you don’t know how you’ll manage to get everything done on time for Christmas dinner.
You come back to work after your holiday only to complain to your colleagues that you were sick during your entire vacation and hardly enjoyed your time off.
Because, frustrations, dissatisfaction, recurring negative thoughts, anger, resentment, sadness, wounds never healed, unrealistic expectations and illusions about life have accumulated in the brain, travelled through the central nervous system sending “unhealthy” life force to our bodies.
Why do we keep pushing ourselves even when our bodies are screaming at us to stop? Why do we do things we inherently don’t want to? Answering these questions can help us understand and bring to light the reasons why psychosomatic illnesses develop.
Unfortunately, however, the answers to these questions are not universal. Different people are affected in different ways by the same stressors; one person may be vulnerable to cardiac events, while another person may be susceptible to digestive disorders. A third person may not even get sick from that same trigger. It’s not easy to predict how stress will affect a person’s health, because we all react to stress in different ways.
An Australian nurse has made an inventory of the most common regrets people express when they learn they are terminally ill and on the verge of dying.
What is “crazy” about this, is that we seem to have lost connection to our values and our most basic needs. Sadly, this is when we develop a psychosomatic illness.
[TRANSLATION] Unhappiness is the only cause of psychosomatic diseases, and happiness is its only remedy — John A. Schindler
Look inside because that’s where the problem started. Meditate, contemplate, ask the universe questions and pay attention, an answer will come. Be honest with yourself, don’t turn a blind eye or numb yourself when you are challenged.
All diseases develop in insidious ways. What we can do, however, is to pay attention to the continual signals that our body sends us and not to turn a deaf ear when it calls out to us.