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Psychosomatic

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Updated September 28, 2007

Definition:
The term psychosomatic in common usage has come to mean "imaginary" and is associated with hypochondria, but medically this is not correct. A psychosomatic illness is one that has definite physical symptoms originating from or influenced by mental and/or emotional causes. Bipolar disorder is not a psychosomatic illness by either definition, since it has definite biological causes. (See Bipolar Disorder is a Physical Illness, Says Judge.)
Pronunciation:
SYE-koh-soh-MAT-ik
Also Known As:
The term "psychophysiologic disorders" is being used now instead of "psychosomatic illnesses" to help reduce the stigma of a disorder's being "imaginary."
Examples:

Headaches and abdominal pain may have psychosomatic origins.

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