Physical Complaints May Have Psychological Basis

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 19, 1996 | Go to article overview

Physical Complaints May Have Psychological Basis


Dear Open Mind: I have a 67-year-old mother who makes frequent visits to her doctor for one problem or another. She goes to him for any number of things including headaches, back pain, "intestinal problems" and fatigue. Her doctor has expressed frustration in not finding a medical explanation for any of the problems. I have recently been approached by a relative who told me that she thinks my mother is a hypochondriac. A friend of mine who is taking a psychology course says that these are psychosomatic disorders. Can you tell me what is going on with my mother and which diagnosis best fits her condition?

Multiple physical complaints that are not explained by physical examination or laboratory findings, especially in a person over 60, are frequently seen in depressive illness. If the symptoms have a long history and have played a prominent and stable part in the patient's life, then a Somatoform Disorder (Somatization Disorder, Pain Disorder or Hypochondriasis) is a possible diagnosis.

The patient deserves a careful evaluation of the psychological issues in her life that are sources of emotional conflict. This evaluation should include an exploration of the patient's current and past life situation, to determine if there have been changes that have contributed to an added burden of emotional conflict and stress.

Changes that frequently destabilize an individual's ability to adequately cope with life stress are losses of significant personal relationships and/or losses of functional capacity from illness and/or aging.

Careful evaluation could clarify the problems that the patient has been experiencing and lead to the initiation of a treatment plan that could be of significant benefit to the patient. The "frustration" of the patient's doctor suggests that his response to the patient's complaints has foreclosed understanding of the patient's problems. An "unfrustrated" doctor would be an open-minded and careful listener and in a position to consider the psychological aspects of the patient's distress. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Physical Complaints May Have Psychological Basis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.