I’m trapped in the ’80s: I love Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Our youth are trapped in call centers. Bangkok is trapped in flood waters. She is trapped in psychosomatic pain.
“Soma” means “body.” Somatization means to make our minds in cadence with our bodies.
In other words, like the Viennese waltz in “Dancing with the Stars,” the mind must make sure it makes the arm go straight, and the legs swing the body so smoothly it looks like a butterfly with graceful wings. Thus, the body dances in cadence with the mind.
That, in layman’s terms, may explain somatization: The body mimics the mind.
The lady trapped in psychosomatic pain is trapped in a pain that her body mimics from her mind. In other words, the pain is not really there: Her mind is just making it up!
“I’m not making it up!” screams the woman. “You just don’t love me enough to believe my chest hurts!”
Psychosomatic pains are not easy to decipher.
The well-esteemed Dr. Henry Lu, who established the Pain Control Center at Makati Medical Center, made a breakthrough by establishing that pain truly exists, and pain patients should be examined and treated. However, Dr. Lu himself said that sometimes, he suspects some patients have psychosomatic pains, too.
Therefore, to prove such, they subject the patient to a diagnosis of exclusion. The patient goes through all examinations like CT scans, X-rays, ECG of the heart, mammography, sonograms, 2D echos, and all the other examinations you yourself may have had. If all these physical examinations show that nothing is wrong physically with your body, then enter the field of psychosomatic pain.
The doctor tells you the inevitable: Your mind is making up the pain.
When your deeply rooted anger, mussed with mud, reaches its crescendo, your heart beats faster, your chest tightens, your head may ache and you’re short of breath.
When you’re deeply nervous about the saga of mistakes you made in the Nursing Government Exam, your eyes tear, you shake, your heart rate goes up and you can’t sleep.
When you feel alone and abandoned, your energy drops, “mabigat ang katawan ko,” “masakit ang dibdib ko,” “hindi ako makahinga.”
When you’re worried or anxious, your blood pressure shoots up.
When you’re stressed, all of the above hits you like lightning.
Time magazine recently ran an article on anxiety, the word that summarizes all of the pains mentioned above. I quote: “Anxiety disorders—which include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—are the most common mental illness.”
Further, it states that “the anxiety response is a normal adaptive reaction to anything we perceive to be a threat… But too much anxious arousal can take its toll on our health. Over time, a persistent alarm in the brain can do life-threatening damage to the body,” writes author Alice Park.
When this psychosomatic pains happen to us, we tend to doctor-shop. We believe we are sick, so we go to a cardiologist, gastro-interologist, rheumatic pain specialist, gynecologist, general health doctors.
All we do is spend and waste money!
All you really have to do is to sit down, and very clearly, try at least to find what issues are bothering you—including what issues are unreal and just an “imagination of your mind.”
Then, the only solution to psychosomatic pain is to go see a psychiatrist and go into therapy.
Now you don’t need to doctor-shop.
I shall be frank with you. There is a stigma on you when you see a psychiatrist. “Ay! Sira ulo!”
Tama! Kasi yung ulo mo ang gumagawa ng mga sakit ng katawan mo!
You don’t need to tell anyone you are seeing a psychiatrist. The Philippine archipelago and its inhabitants still do not understand that healing can mean psychiatric therapy.
This is what the Association of Psychosomatic Medicine in the USA also suggests. Psychotherapy.
Maybe your heartbeats are going to go back to normal if you tell your psychiatrist that you are worried about your finances, of your husband having an affair, or your work being so stressful that you can’t tell night from day.
Or you may have a psychological disorder, too, that is causing your anxiety to turn into psychosomatic pain: bipolar disorder, ADD (attention deficit disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), manic-depression, and many others now known in modern medicine.
Slowly learn from your psychiatrist the psychodynamic explanation or connection of your pain. Dig up your anger, surrender your sorrow, get rid of aloneness and its disquieting disgust. Then your body reacts happily, healthily, freshly resurrected. Free from pain. Your psychiatrist may suggest anti-depressants or relaxation techniques.
As Dr. Oz says in Time magazine, “Anxiety exists in that gap between how things are and how we want them to be. Recognize your stress triggers and then learn how to avoid them.”
Your psychiatrist and you can determine this gap.
Finally, a very strong response after several meetings with your psychiatrist: “Anxiety itself is neither helpful nor hurtful. It’s your response to anxiety that is helpful or hurtful,” says Sally Winston, co-director, Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland, USA.
The lady has pain in her uterus area. It’s not a pain you feel the whole time. It’s when you press on it with your fingers.
In reality, this lady pines for the fruit of her uterus, the son she loves.