What do you feel if there is something wrong with your body, then you consult your health to many doctors and examine it with many kinds of laboratory equipment, but doctors have always said that you are fine? People who experience this situation usually feel more anxious. They do not have an idea why doctors cannot find the cause of the illness they got. It does not make sense if there is no illness whereas they feel something unwell on the body. Each person may feel different symptom. For instance, breathless, palpitate, colic, dizzy, or queasy.
This situation can be experienced by woman, man, and children to elder. People can feel the health problem slowly or rapidly. They usually do not know the reason why they can feel it. For instance, there was a little girl came to doctor with her mother, then she told the doctor that she had felt breathless for one week. Doctors saw that she was inhaling heavily. Then, the doctor examined the problem. After she had lung X-ray and spirometry test result, and they showed that the girl’s lung function was normal, so the doctor told them that the girl has psychological problem. She might be stressed of something. The same symptom in an adult sometimes also appears in the same way with children. For instance, a woman came to doctor to consult why she had always felt like no energy, very weak although she just had eaten food. After the doctor checked the woman’s physical and found there was no problem with her body, the doctor made a conclusion that probably the woman had psychological problem.
About the psychological problem, not all patients can recognize what they problem is. Doctors usually hear, “I have no any problem, Doc” or “I do not think of anything to make me worry, Doc”. It’s normal if patient spontaneously reply the doctor like that because not all problem can be realized. If patients recognize, they will tell the truth to the doctor and do not deny it.
The awareness of the presence of problem in daily life can be helpful for patients. If they realize what the problem is, doctor can give good advice for them. By giving a simple advice, for instance to relax or to lessen their work, doctors can give psychological first aid. If doctor knows that the problem is more complex, doctor can suggest their patient to meet a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist if they need medicine. It’s not easy to face patients who are not aware of their problem. They can feel offended to doctors and thought that doctors can help them well. “I am not crazy, Doc”, patients often reply doctors, and then they will go away with anger.
Patients who deny that they have problem usually will look for another doctor to get comparison or second opinion. If another doctor tells the same thing, that the symptom appears due to their psychological problem, they will calm down and try to find the cause. It needs more time to make patients realize and accept what the base problem is. Doctor who prioritize their patient’s health usually will tell the truth and educate them well.
If patients realize that they have problem and need professional help, they will meet clinical psychologist which is suggested. Clinical psychologist will give information about the relation between mind and body, how mind influence body, and what they should do to get the total health. The process of thinking is in human brain. If people have problem in their relationship with other family members, they do not realise that they think about their problem. The harder they think about the problem solving, the harder their brain works. The brain becomes so active and reaches the high beta wave level. It makes people difficult to go into deep sleep. If people cannot sleep well in one month, they will feel tired and less energy. They can feel depressed, bored, stressed, or suffered negative mood. These feelings influence the internal system in the body, for instance the increasing of blood pressure and heart’s beat, stimulating the gastric acid, and sweating. In long term period, people will feel the hurt feeling on their body more real. After that, they believe that their body has problem and really hurt. By giving psychological education, we try to change their perception so they will accept the psychotherapy as an intervention.
Spreading the information about somatoform disorder to society is a clinical psychologist’s home work. Sharing the information properly can reduce the negative concept that the unknown disease due to magic. If people know well about the disorder, people can be treated correctly as soon as possible. The psychological intervention will be able to be the prevention of the real physical illness.
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