Special Issue "Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Assessments".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 4977

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Erich Kasten
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical School Hamburg, Am Kaiserkai 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Interests: somatopsychology; clinical neuropsychology; hallucinations; body modification (piercing & tattoo); aesthetic surgery (psychologial aspects only); human beauty.
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mental disorders are not only generated by psychosocial causes. Our thinking and feeling are also based on physical processes. A variety of organic diseases can lead to someone being unable to cope with stress and to develop fears, depression, or even delusions. Somatopsychology, the counterpart to the more well-known psychosomatic, tries to identify such physical diseases. In the field of somatic causes of mental disorders, one can, e.g., distinguish between infectious, genetic, endocrine, metabolic, and neurological disorders. In addition, there are organ diseases, for example, anemia, heart failure, or pulmonary dysfunction, which can result in cognitive disorders. Kidney or liver diseases can lead to poisoning, which then also negatively affects mental processes. In addition to reduced neurotransmitters, the immune system has increasingly come into focus in the search for the causes of burnout, depression, and fatigue syndrome. Someone who is ill shows typical sickness behavior, which also includes symptoms that loosely resemble a depressed state of exhaustion. Even a succinct flu infection causes psychological changes. When pathogens have entered the body, the freely moving cells of the immune system communicate via the release of immune messenger substances that serve to activate cells of the disease defense. But there are also receiving stations for this in the brain, preferably in the Limbic system. As soon as the CNS is aware that the body's defense system is starting up, it produces the typical feeling of illness and the patient goes into a depressive mood.

Thus far, there has no systematization of somatopsychology. This Special Issue will collect examples from different fields, e.g., psychoendocrinology, psychoneuroimmunology, changes in blood values, metabolic disorders, or neurological disorders that lead to psychological symptoms.

Prof. Dr. Erich Kasten
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Somatopsychology
  • Psychoendocrinology
  • Psychoneiroimmunology
  • Blood
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neurological disorders

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Neuropsychiatric and Psychological Symptoms in Patients with Lyme Disease: A Study of 252 Patients
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060733 - 14 Jun 2021
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Abstract
This study examined the relationship between neuropsychiatric and psychological symptoms in patients with Lyme borreliosis. We collected data from an experimental group of 252 Lyme disease patients and a control group of 267 healthy individuals. The quality of life and sleep, attention and [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between neuropsychiatric and psychological symptoms in patients with Lyme borreliosis. We collected data from an experimental group of 252 Lyme disease patients and a control group of 267 healthy individuals. The quality of life and sleep, attention and memory performance were assessed in both groups. Additionally, we investigated depressive symptoms in patients with Lyme disease to examine whether the duration of the disease had an influence on the severity of symptoms shown. Furthermore, various data on the diagnostics and treatment carried out in the patient group were recorded. On average, patients visited almost eight physicians to obtain a diagnosis, and eight years passed between the tick bite and diagnosis (SD ± 7.8); less than half of the sample (46%) received their diagnosis within the first five years after the development of symptoms. It became clear that Lyme disease is often diagnosed very late. It appears that people suffering from Lyme disease have significantly lower quality of life and sleep and show cognitive impairments when it comes to attention and memory. This study shows that 3.1% of Lyme patients were satisfied with their lives and that 37% scored in the lower third of the quality-of-life scale. It was also shown that Lyme patients tend to have depressive symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body)
Article
Psychopathology and Somatic Complaints: A Cross-Sectional Study with Portuguese Adults
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040478 - 17 Apr 2021
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Abstract
(1) Background: Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by medical diagnosis, injuries, and medication intake. More than the presence of unexplained symptoms, this condition is associated with functional disabilities, psychological distress, increased use of health services, and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by medical diagnosis, injuries, and medication intake. More than the presence of unexplained symptoms, this condition is associated with functional disabilities, psychological distress, increased use of health services, and it has been linked to depressive and anxiety disorders. Recognizing the difficulty of diagnosing individuals with FSS and the impact on public health systems, this study aimed to verify the concomitant incidence of psychopathological symptoms and FSS in Portugal. (2) Methods: For this purpose, 93 psychosomatic outpatients (91.4% women with a mean age of 53.9 years old) and 101 subjects from the general population (74.3% women with 37.8 years old) were evaluated. The survey questionnaire included the 15-item Patient Health Questionnaire, the 20-Item Short Form Survey, the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and questions on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. (3) Results: Increases in FSS severity were correlated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. The findings also suggest that increased rates of FSS are associated with lower educational level and female gender. (4) Conclusion: Being aware of the relationship between FSS and psychopathological symptoms and the need to explore psychosocial issues during clinical interviews may favor early detection of these cases. The early detection of mental disorders is essential for individuals’ adherence to treatments, reflecting on healthcare costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body)
Article
The Actualization of the Transplantation Complex on the Axis of Psychosomatic Totality—Results of a Qualitative Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040455 - 12 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Although transplantation medicine is not new, there is a clinically justified gap in the existing literature with respect to the psychological processing of lung transplants. The present study aims to examine whether lung transplantation leads to an actualization of psychological, e.g., oral-sadistic fantasies. [...] Read more.
Although transplantation medicine is not new, there is a clinically justified gap in the existing literature with respect to the psychological processing of lung transplants. The present study aims to examine whether lung transplantation leads to an actualization of psychological, e.g., oral-sadistic fantasies. Following a qualitative approach, 38 lung transplant patients were interviewed three times within the first six months after transplantation. Data analysis focused on identifying unconscious and conscious material. The inter-rater reliability for all codes was calculated using Krippendorff’s Alpha (c-α-binary = 0.94). Direct and implicit evidence of a so-called transplantation complex was detected e.g., regarding the “incorporation” of the dead donor and his lungs. These processes occur predominantly at an imaginary level and are related to the body. Our findings emphasize that such psychological aspects should be borne in mind in the psychological treatment of lung-transplant patients in order to improve the processing of lung transplants, and that this might have a positive effect on patient adherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body)

Review

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Review
The Potential Impact of Selected Bacterial Strains on the Stress Response
Healthcare 2021, 9(5), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9050494 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
Introduction: The composition of the microbiome is subject to a variety of factors, such as eating behavior and the history of medical treatment. The interest in the impact of the microbiome on the stress response is mainly explained by the lack of development [...] Read more.
Introduction: The composition of the microbiome is subject to a variety of factors, such as eating behavior and the history of medical treatment. The interest in the impact of the microbiome on the stress response is mainly explained by the lack of development of new effective treatments for stress-related diseases. This scoping review aims to present the current state of research regarding the impact of bacterial strains in the gut on the stress response in humans in order to not only highlight these impacts but to also suggest potential intervention options. Methods: We included full-text articles on studies that: (a) were consistent with our research question; and (b) included the variable stress either using biomedical parameters such as cortisol or by examining the subjective stress level. Information from selected studies was synthesized from study designs and the main findings. Results: Seven studies were included, although they were heterogenous. The results of these studies do not allow a general statement about the effects of the selected bacterial strains on the stress response of the subjects and their precise pathways of action. However, one of the works gives evidence that the consumption of probiotics leads to a decrease in blood pressure and others show that stress-induced symptoms (including abdominal pain and headache) in healthy subjects could be reduced. Conclusion: Due to different intake period and composition of the bacterial strains administered to the subjects, the studies presented here can only provide a limited meaningful judgement. As these studies included healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 60 years, a generalization to clinical populations is also not recommended. In order to confirm current effects and implement manipulation of the microbiome as a treatment method for clinical cases, future studies would benefit from examining the effects of the intestinal microbiome on the stress response in a clinical setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body)
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