psychosomatic illness

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Influenced by psycho-dynamic thinking, the term psychosomatic became widespread from the 1930s onwards, initially indicating a general approach to illness emphasizing a mind/body interaction. The concept usually denotes certain bodily illness, such as ulcers, with presumed psychological causes. However, attention to psychosocial stressors across the illness spectrum suggests the difficulty of maintaining any strict differentiation between the psychosomatic and the physical. See also autonomy; stress.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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