10 Painful Conditions Doctors Think Are All In Your Head

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Any illness that causes debilitating symptoms is clearly rather frustrating, but picture magnified when a physician expresses the pain is only “in your head that discouragement becomes.” Such is the situation with the subsequent 10 states, all which cause painful and sometimes debilitating physical symptoms are considered to be entirely mental in nature.

10Exploding Head Syndrome


The illness called EHS causes sufferers to perceive “an awareness of explosion in the head, confined to the hours of slumber, which is benign but quite distressing for the sufferer.” The understanding of explosion frequently happens as the sufferer is falling asleep but may additionally cause the sufferer to awaken in the middle of slumber. Other symptoms include an intense feeling of heat, chest pain, flashes of light, and the feeling of an electric sense through the body.

While the state has existed as far back as the late 1800s, there’s little a medical doctor can offer in the way of help for the physical symptoms created by EHS. Up to now, physicians have found that simple support is apparently the greatest treatment, and one sufferer’s symptoms quit due to his physician’s confidence that his EHS was than a bother.” Causes for EHS are considered to contain common problems like exhaustion and anxiety, with other sleep disorders as likely playing a part additionally considered.



There are a host of physical symptoms related to fibromyalgia, including widespread pain through the body, tiredness, depression, and headaches. Regardless of this, there’s the belief in the medical community the illness is all in the heads of the sufferers. Based on Gerard Mesill, M.D., “Folks with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) endure not only from continuous, widespread pain, but they also occasionally face judgment and suspicion from medical professionals who doubt if their state is actual. They may be labeled as annoying and destitute. In the literal sense, abuse is added to trauma.”

There isn’t any laboratory testing available to verify whether a patient has fibromyalgia, and while physicians used to use a “sore point examination,” all that’s required for an investigation is for the patient to have “prevalent pain for more than three months—with no underlying medical condition that could cause the pain.” Doctors do use blood testing to remove other states as a potential cause, and there are many physicians who express incredulity at the existence of the state completely, though recent estimates have suggested that five million individuals have problems with fibromyalgia in the US alone.

8Somatization Disorder


Since the illness creates an endless cycle of widespread pain as a result of stress over the illness somatization disorder is especially troubling to patients. The physical symptoms of the illness are way too many to list but include changes in eyesight, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, paralysis, and amnesia. The lack of any identifiable physical cause has led many physicians to believe the illness is only emotional while the symptoms of the illness are apparently limitless, which is so often blown off completely.

Due to the lack of an identifiable physical cause, it’s recommended that patients afflicted by the illness experience some sort of possibly antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy too. Some studies have theorized this illness and several other similar illnesses may be rooted in neurocircuitry.

7Conversion Disorder


Photo credit: D.M. Bourneville, P. Regnar

While the problems linked with conversion disorder are rather serious, the situation surrounding the illness are still less black than in the 17th century, when many sufferers of conversion disorder—then called hysteria—were believed to have been practicing witchcraft and were thus executed by being burned at the stake. Though the early Greeks were much less punitive to sufferers of the illness, they considered that it happened as an outcome of the “uterus drifting into the body.”

Though many years have passed since sufferers were believed to have a “roaming uterus” or have been practicing witchcraft, the belief is still that conversion disorder is a psychological disorder that results in some really serious physical symptoms, including seizures, blindness, and paralysis. Those have frequently experienced something traumatic, and this injury is frequently repressed in some manner. The illness isn’t common, as it’s estimated to impact just 0.03 percent of the people.

6Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome have a good deal of trouble getting a precise analysis of their illness and so are frequently compelled to take care of the real physical symptoms without sufficient treatment. The feeling that chronic fatigue syndrome—which leads to serious and debilitating physical symptoms—is only a psychological disorder is so extensive the Institute of Medicine believed it needed to “set to rest, once and for all, the notion that this is merely psychosomatic or that folks were making this up, or that they were only slack.”

Based on the report issued by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 2.5 million Americans deal with symptoms caused by chronic fatigue syndrome, including “profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic indications, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion of any kind.”

Due to uncertainties regarding the very existence of chronic fatigue syndrome, the report noted that less than 33 percent of medical schools even contain the state in programs, and the state isn’t so much as said in 60 percent of medical textbooks, top sufferers of the condition to fall upon “doubt healthcare providers about the serious nature of [chronic fatigue syndrome] and the misconception that it’s a psychogenic illness or even a figment of the patient’s imagination.”

5Retired Husband Syndrome


This unique illness is nearly completely localized in Japan, where wives frequently experience several physical symptoms that just happen following their husband’s retirement. Sufferers of retired husband syndrome, or RHS, deal with physical symptoms which will contain polyps, ulcers, rashes, and headaches, and the increased presence of their husband at the house all causes it.

Pressure causes the physiological ailments that grow, and that pressure is frequently as a result of quite severe gender roles that have existed in Japan for centuries. The effects of RHS have resulted in a divorce rate that has grown substantially. Between 2000 and 1985, the rate of divorce among couples married for longer than 20 years doubled.

Physicians never have been able to discover any other medical cause for those symptoms aside from the emotional pressure of the retirement of their husbands, though many girls in Japan are discovering themselves afflicted with physical symptoms.

4Psychogenic Dystonia


Psychogenic dystonia is a movement disorder that causes involuntarily with no identifiable physical cause for the problem and the muscles to contract. Recent studies may have shown the cause may be neurological instead while many in the medical area consider this sort of dystonia grows as part of a conversion disorder and is rooted in a mental cause.

Psychogenic dystonia sufferers have no such mutation while some types of dystonia are the result of a gene mutation. They do, nevertheless, have “ brain action that is markedly distinct, as discovered through a study scans to quantify degrees of action in particular areas of the brain ”. So while the very name of the illness suggests that there’s a psychological cause (psychogenic illnesses were once referred to as hysterical illnesses), it seems that researchers may have identified a neurological cause in those suffering from the seemingly ill named psychogenic dystonia.



The physical symptoms— even, and stomach enlargement, the sense of fetal movement, lactation labor pains, among others— appear to clearly point to pregnancy. Yet with this specific state, such isn’t true. Both men and girls, can afflict and is fully rooted in the emotional world. The state is recorded in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and it’s been discovered to be common in states in which medical care for pregnancy isn’t sought until the later phases of a pregnancy.

A study printed in the US National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine delineated some of the common factors among those who experience pseudocyesis, noting that “pseudocyesis shares many endocrine characteristics with both polycystic ovarian syndrome and major depressive disorder, although the endocrine characteristics are more similar to polycystic ovarian syndrome than to major depressive disorder,” and that there’s a tendency among those experiencing false pregnancy to have “increased sympathetic nervous system activity.”

2Chronic Lyme Disease


Lyme disease is an extremely treatable illness that typically needs about four weeks of treatment. The disorder, which is the result of a tick bite, is especially common in the northeast part of America but can be found in numerous other places. Persistent Lyme disease differs, yet, and though many physicians are doubtful as to its existence, a recent study asserted that its effects can continue “4.7–9 years” and includes symptoms such as “relentless musculoskeletal pain, neurocognitive symptoms, or dysesthesia.”

Despite the fact that the study professes to have shown that long-term Lyme disease really exists, other physicians consider that any development in the symptoms patients encounter is only a psychosomatic result and is just caused by the placebo effect and stay skeptical. While many physicians ignore patients claiming to have long-term Lyme disease as hypochondriacs, others consider that any physical symptoms experienced by a patient may be caused by a co-infection, and that physicians treating patients for long-term Lyme disease are hurting the patient by not identifying the authentic cause.

1Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures


This special state is often mistaken for epilepsy, causing frequent misdiagnoses. As the name implies, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures aren’t due to the exact same issue that results in epileptic seizures but instead by some sort of mental misery. The primary identifying variable for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, or PNES, is through the observation of seizures in which there are “odd characteristics, including kind of moves, duration, causes and frequency.”

PNES sufferers frequently have suffered some kind of traumatic event that functions as the cause of the illness, and due to the fact that there are inherent problems in coping with the illness, people with PNES must frequently suffer an arduous procedure in treatment. Based on Dr. Selim R. Benbadis, the manager of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, “In addition to being common, psychogenic symptoms present an uncomfortable and frequently frustrating challenge, both in analysis and direction.” As with many states that physicians consider are all in the patient’s head, PNES regularly represents rather an important adversity for those suffering from the syndrome.


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