The term “psychosomatic disorder” is mainly used to mean “a physical disease that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors.”
The term is also used when mental factors cause physical symptoms but where there is no physical disease. For example, chest pain may be caused by stress and no physical disease can be found.
Some physical diseases are thought to be prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. At any given time, a person’s mental state can affect the degree of severity of a physical disease. Physical symptoms that are caused by mental factors are also called somatization or somatoform disorders. These symptoms are due to increased activity of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body.
A number of factors may play a role in psychosomatic disorders, such as personality traits; genetic or environmental family influences; biological factors; learned behavior and more.