Definition of psychosomatic
- the psychosomatic nature of man
- —Herbert Ratner
- psychosomatic symptoms
- psychosomatic medicine
The doctor told her that her stomach problems were psychosomatic.
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Since the Greek word soma means "body", psychosomatic suggests the link between mind and body. Since one's mental state may have an important effect on one's physical state, research on new medicines always involves giving some patients in the experiment a placebo (fake medicine), and some who receive the sugar pills will seem to improve. You may hear someone say of someone else's symptoms, "Oh, it's probably just psychosomatic", implying that the physical pain or illness is imaginary--maybe just an attempt to get sympathy--and that the person could will it away if he or she wanted to. But this can be harsh and unfair, since, whatever the cause is, the pain is usually real.
First Known Use: circa 1834See Words from the same year
: caused by mental or emotional problems rather than by physical illness
What made you want to look up psychosomatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous
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