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Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions

Kathryn Patricelli, MA

What is Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions?

The symptoms of this disorder include:

  • having a medical symptom or condition that is not a mental disorder
  • having psychological or behavioral factors that negatively affect the medical condition - either by:
    • making it worse or stopping recovery
    • affecting treatment of the condition
    • having stress or showing unhealthy behaviors. This could include saying symptoms aren't happening or not doing what the doctor tells you to do.
  • these issues are not explained by another mental disorder, such as panic disorder, depression, or PTSD/posttraumatic stress disorder.

The condition can be:

  • Mild - increases medical risk. For example, the person doesn't regularly take a required medication.
  • Moderate - affects the underlying medical condition. For example, the patient has anxiety that makes breathing conditions worse.
  • Severe - requires a visit to the emergency room or causes the person to have to be in the hospital.
  • Extreme - results in severe, life-threatening risk. For example, the person ignores symptoms of a stroke.

How common is Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions?

There is not currently clear research data on how common this disorder is. According to some insurance data, it appears to be more common than somatic symptom disorder. The disorder can occur at any age, including in children and the elderly.

What other disorders or conditions often occur with Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions?

In order to be diagnosed with this condition, the person must also have at least one medical condition.

How is Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions treated?

Treatment includes the person learning about the effects of their thoughts and behaviors on their medical condition. It also includes psychotherapy to help the person deal with their condition and to follow treatment recommendations for the medical condition.

 

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