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«The Impact of Society on the Psychosomatic Illness »



A psychosomatic disorder is complex mixture of mental and physical disorders, which are aggravated by mental factors, such anxiety and stress. In fact, a sophisticated synergy of mind and body disorders involve mental dimension of each physical disease. Furthermore, mental persuasion often plays a more significant role in aggravating the symptoms. The main difficulty of psychosomatic disorders lies in the impossibility of diagnosing the disease at a physical level because analyses might not reveal any deviations. However, a person is still depressed and feels discomfort and stress. In fact, the influence of stress and external social factors should not be underestimated because society and all social circumstances could contribute to the development of the disorder.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to explore the influence of society on the development of psychosomatic disorders because they often reveal symptoms, which could not be explained by the deviations in physiology; rather, all physical disorders are explained by stress, anxiety, and depression. The influence of external social environment should be introduced to understand the reasons for the lack of medical and scientific explanation to certain psychosomatic disorders. 

Research Objectives

The main objective of the research is to explore potential external factors, which affect the development of a physical disorder. Additionally, the researcher seeks to explore the connection between mental concerns and physical symptoms.

Research Questions

  1. What are potential external factors influencing the development of a physical disorder?
  2. What is the connection between mental concerns and physical symptoms?


H1: A negative social environment can lead to the development of stress, which in turn can have a negative impact on the physical state of a patient.

H2: There is an evident connection between mental discomfort and stress and physical problems of a patient.

Literature Review

Reasons for Social Factors

It is evident that the stress could be determined both by internal and external forces, and people encounter difficulties while maintaining a dynamic equilibrium, which keep mind and body in harmony. In the studies by Chrousus (2009), it has been admitted that stress takes place if homeostasis is challenged and re-established by different behavioral and physiological adaptive responses. Neuroendocrine hormones have a potent influence on the regulation of basis homeostasis as well as responses to difficulties and threats. They could also be involved into the development of the diseases featured by cacostasis or dyshomeostasis (Chrousos, 2009). Therefore, the responsiveness of stress is important for ensuring the sense of successful coping, welfare, and development of the protective mechanisms.

The external factors could also be predetermined by the current social stereotypes and body images making the community fit in the current standards. As such, Chisuwa and O’Dea (2010) have conducted their research on the role of body image in the eating habits among Japanese adolescents to define the negative outcomes of distorted understanding of current standards of beauty. The scholars have argued that there is a positive correlation between prevalence of disorder eating behaviors and body image construction among Japanese children as compared to those in Western countries. Although eating habits were regarded as the prerogative of Western societies, the issue has acquired a global character, with the reports made to non-Western countries involving Japan, in which the eating disorders have become associated with inadequate and biased stereotypes about beauty images (Brown and Harris 2012). Therefore, the eating disorders are strongly associated with culture, societal norms, and ethnicity, which expands an understanding of body image distortion among different cultural environments. Although this trend is less prevalent in the Western culture, Japan has a predominantly early history of problems with eating habits. The case also proves to have specific external influences had a potent influence on the people’s mental state affecting physical disorders 

Belsky and Pluess (2009) have made a logical assumption that biological and evolutionary reasoning suggests that individuals should have a different level of susceptibility to the environmental influences, with certain people being more vulnerable to specific external factors. Therefore, sometimes, the environmental influences can disproportionally affect the individuals’ mental and physical states, which are predetermined by the experience and character traits. The external factors can also include work-related stress. As a proof, Nakao (2010) have focused on the influence of stress on body’s physiological and psychological response to specific circumstances, which require behavioral adjustment. Specifically, the author have argued, “Stressful working conditions can also impact employee well-being by directly contributing to negative health behaviors or by indirectly limiting an individual’s ability to make positive change to lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking and sedentary behavior” (Nakao 2010, p. 2). Additionally, job stress can also cause negative health patterns, such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, job stress can be caused by the job itself, workload, or inadequate distribution of responsibilities 

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Influences of Social Factors

Certainly, the influence of social factors is important for understanding the roots of psychosomatic disorders. At this point, Lane et al. (2009) have introduced the analysis of historical context, which could understand the work of human brain and somatic responses of the organisms to the external factors. The researchers have demonstrated that neuroscience plays an important role in expanding the understanding of schemes, by means of which psychosocial variables influence physical disease outcomes. An increased focus on these mechanisms is required to facilitate the acceptance in the field of medicine. 

Posttraumatic stress disorder could also become the major factor contributing to stress disorder symptoms and pain among accident survivors. To enlarge on the issue, Jenewein et al. (2009) have introduced specialized systems, which could promote new assessment of the influence of previous experience on the current perception of mental and physical wellbeing.

Boettger et al. (2009) have investigated the role of physical fitness on the mental state of individuals. It has been defined that low physical fitness positively correlates with autonomic dysfunction and metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular mortality is also known be enhanced among patients suffering from major depressive disorder. The results have also shown that physical exercises could contribute to the improved mood among patients and reduce the overall risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, Baldwin and Taylor (2010) have defined the connection between social relationships and their influence on the emotional welfare of individuals in society. Finally, Tan et al. (2013) have presented their research study to prove that a holistic approach is required to understanding the nature of psychosomatic disorders as well as how they affect the overall mental and physical responses of a human organism.

Proposed Methodology

Since the major purpose of the research is to explore the behavioral patterns of people affected by different social factors, the use of mixed-method research is justified. In particular, the qualitative part will be composed of literature overview, whereas the quantitative will rely on case studies, which will reveal the required percentage of people suffering from psychosomatic disorders (Creswell 2003). The data collection will rely on case study and interviews. It means that the participants will be chosen and will be analyzed with the current case studies, which relate to the social influences and the way they affect physical and mental states of the respondents (Brannen 2005). The qualitative interviews are also advantageous because they highlight the emotional and psychological state of the participants. 

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The researchers will use qualitative interviews because it is beneficial for understanding how the respondents with different social background react to different moral and ethical decisions. The research proposal will be composed of interviews with five sociologists and five doctors who will discuss five illnesses in relation to the nature, causes and routes. The interview questions will be the following:

  1. Is there any relation between Society and Psycho?
  2. What is the relation between body and soul?
  3. Does social structure have effects on psychosomatic illness?
  4. Does the luck in economic factor have effect on this illness?
  5. Does the political environment have effect on this disease?
  6. What are the most prominent social factors or environments that affect the mental and physical state of patients?


As it can be seen, the major approach to answering the research question is premised on observational, qualitative research. It can allow the research to understand the social and psychological dimension and make the corresponding conclusions.

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Data Collection and Analysis

The data collection and analysis will be carried out in several stages. To begin with, the overview of literature should start with analyzing the concepts and thematic nodes. For instance, it could be the evaluation of potential social factors, which could affect patients’ mood, or physical state, the definitions of psychosomatic disorders, symptoms and how they are affected by external factors. As soon as these relations have been highlighted, it is possible to construct a theoretical framework, which will be used for interviewing the participants and analyzing their responses. The participants will be informed about all the research procedures, and the interview will be conducted individually for each respondent to reach the maximum objectivity.

Interpreting Results

The results will be presented as a synergy of numerical data and the outcomes of observational research and interviews. The literature review will serve as a theoretical framework for fostering the research and responding the hypothesis and research objectives. The results will also be analyzed in terms of the interviews’ secondary results, such as patients’ overall mood, and their reaction to the questions.


The given study will play an important role in expanding the understanding of the evident connection between mental and physical processes within an organism as well as the way they cause specific disorders and illnesses. The latter is of great use for physicians and scientists who are searching for the underpinnings of stresses, depression, and related disorders. It can also provide a new platform for understanding how external social factors could provoke a certain type of illnesses and disease. The professional occupation could also lead to different problems with health, and the task of the research is to find what type of intervention should be introduced to reduce the pressure of external social factors, such as workload, competition, and responsibilities distributions. Finally, the existence of various stereotypes and biases in society could also have a negative influence on the people’s behavioral patterns leading to different types of physical disorders, such as wrong eating habits, or absence of physical exercises and smoking. The current body images can negatively affect the future generation leading to the emergence of news disease and development of stress disorders. Such problems should be approached holistic to understand cultural, social, and political dimensions, in which an individual operates. It can also provide motivation for the society to change its outlook on previously established stereotypes and develop a new structure deprived of prejudices, and improving the quality of healthcare.



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