Psychosomatic disorder is mainly a physical disease that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors. Some physical diseases, like psoriasis, eczema, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease are thought to be particularly prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety. Many people with these and other physical diseases say that their current mental state can affect how bad their physical disease is at any given time.
Some people also use the term psychosomatic disorder when mental factors cause physical symptoms, but where there is no physical disease. For example, a chest pain may be caused by stress, and no physical disease can be found. The symptoms are not intentionally produced or simulated.
Also stress brought on by anxiety or depression can alter immune function. Psychological stress can also affect the ability to get pregnant, producing a change on the hormonal balance. Treating depression can improve fertility.
Psychosomatic illnesses are not faked illnesses, but patients often require treatment for the underlying psychological root. Unfortunately, many people with these illnesses resist psychotherapy as a form of treatment, believing this does not take into account the disease. Though these illnesses respond to drugs, painkillers and other medical help, symptoms are likely to return unless the underlying cause is addressed.