It may seem strange to go to a psychologist with physical issues such as back pain, stomach pain or palpitations, but physical and psychological issues often occur together.
It regularly happens that people with (permanent) injuries or physical health problems also suffer from this mentally. Conversely, it also happens that if you have a psychological problem, this can manifest itself in physical issues.
Unexplained physical issues
Do you suffer from physical issues such as headaches, insomnia or back pain and has your GP been unable to find the cause? Often these symptoms disappear after a while, but sometimes you can keep suffering for a long time or the symptoms worsen. In some cases a medical cause has been found, but your symptoms are worse or last longer than you would expect. You will then suffer from an unexplained physical problem, also known as Medically Unexplained Symptoms.
Unexplained physical issues are a group of disorders in which you suffer from physical symptoms, without having found a (complete) physical cause for them after a medical examination.
In the past it was sometimes said that unexplained physical issues would be ‘in the mind’, as if the patient had imagined the symptoms. Reality is much more complicated than that.
Today we know that mental health problems such as stress and anxiety can lead to a wide variety of very serious symptoms, including pain, digestive disorders, skin problems and much more. These issues are all very real and deserve to be taken seriously. In addition, symptoms that have an underlying physical cause can worsen by stress and anxiety. After all, body and mind cannot be disconnected.
The following physical issues may occur:
- digestive disorders;
- chronic headache;
- neck, shoulder or back pain;
- muscle or joint pain;
- chronic fatigue;
- skin problems;
- weight changes;
- heart palpitations;
If your symptoms cannot be sufficiently explained physically, there may be psychological factors such as stress, a traumatic event or problems in your relationship that may play a role.
Stress, for example, can lead to headaches, stomach pain or muscle pain. And if you suffer from sleep problems, this could be a result of depression or an anxiety disorder. You do not always know what the cause or the effect of these issues is. It is well known that the problems can reinforce each other.
Treatment unexplained physical issues
If it is not clear where your physical symptoms come from, you can be very worried. If after some time it appears that the unexplained symptoms persist or worsen, it may be wise to consult a psychologist.
During the treatment, we examine which psychological factors cause, worsen or maintain your physical symptoms. Once this is clear, we can adjust the treatment accordingly and we start tackling the problems.
The physical problems do not disappear completely in all cases. During the treatment we will discuss how you can better deal with your symptoms, so that you will have less problems with them in your daily life.
Psychological issues with a physical cause
If you have physical problems due to illness or injury, it can be very difficult to deal with. You can think of an accident with permanent injury (such as whiplash, complicated fractures), a chronic disorder (such as diabetes, rheumatism) or a terminal illness (such as cancer, COPD).
The process of diagnosis, acceptance, treatment and the (permanent) physical limitations can demand a lot from you. It can be difficult to adapt to the new situation, that is, a life that is different from the life you knew or expected. You may feel stressed about things like your family life or your career. You may feel lonely when others around you cannot fully understand what you are going through, and you may feel confused or depressed with so much change.
Treatment psychological issues with a physical cause
The guidance of clients with psychological issues as a result of physical or health problems, depends on the symptoms and the needs of the client. The guidance will mainly focus on acceptance, processing and learning to deal with the new situation. In consultation with you, it may be decided to include family members in the treatment.
Contact Psychologen Amsterdam
Do you recognize your symptoms and do you need help or do you just have a question about the treatment of your symptoms? Then call for an appointment or send a message to practice Psychologen Amsterdam.