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Definition of «Somatization»


Somatization: The process by which psychologic distress is expressed as physical symptoms. Somatization is an unconscious process.

In somatization, mental experiences or states are "converted" to bodily symptoms. A tension headache is an example: tension is converted to a headache.

Somatization is a normal phenomenon. However, some patients with somatization have psychiatric conditions. A person who is expressing physical symptoms as a result of psychological distress is said to be somatizing.

The word "somatization" comes from the Greek "some" meaning body. Somatization is a part of psychosomatic medicine, the mind-body relationships, the interactions between the mind (the "psyche") and body (the "soma").

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