Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychosomatic Disorder

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_424



  1. 1.

    Somatic diseases or disorders characterized by objective organic changes and/or functional changes that could be induced, progressed, aggravated, or exacerbated by psychological, social, and/or behavioral factors.

  2. 2.

    Physical illness or symptom believed to be caused by psychological factors.



The term “psychosomatic” carries two connotations having an ancient tradition in Western thinking and medicine: psychogenesis of disease and holism. Psychogenesis is an etiologic hypothesis about the role of psychological factors in human disease. The core notion of holism is that mind and body is inseparable and mutually dependent aspects of man, and it implies a view of the human being as a whole.

The idea of psychogenesis resulted in the concept of psychosomatic disorder, a physical illness or symptoms believed to be caused by psychological factors. Notion of psychogenesis has...

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References and Readings

  1. Engel, G. L. (1977). The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science, 196, 129–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fava, G. A., & Sonino, N. (2000). Psychosomatic medicine: Emerging trends and perspectives. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 69, 184–197.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lipowski, Z. J. (1986). Psychosomatic medicine: Past and present. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 2–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychosomatic ResearchNational Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and PsychiatryKodaira-shi, TokyoJapan