Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Physiological Symptoms Which Can Have Psychological Roots

Part of the problem with trying to understand our own bodies and minds is that the boundary between the two is often so blurred. That is actually a big part of how to heal oneself, but before that kind of understanding is reached you might find that there is sometimes a little confusion between the two. One way in which this can happen is when you experience a physical symptom which you assume must have a physical origin, but which can also have a psychological one. It’s useful to know what some of those are, so let’s look at a few.



It is so tempting to think that a headache must merely be a physical response to something physical. But actually, headaches can arise for many reasons, not all of them physiological. A headache is such a nebulous thing: it can appear as a matter of will, or lack thereof, and it can even come about completely spontaneously without any real discernible reason why. Sometimes, it is as simple as being a reaction to stress. If you have a sudden headache, consider whether you might need to de-stress a little.




As unpleasant a symptom as it is, and as extreme as it can be, diarrhea is nonetheless not always an indication of something wrong in the body. It can be a result of something like feeling nervous, particularly in people who are especially prone to anxiety. If you know that you have a lot of anxiety, then you might well know this feeling of having diarrhea or other bowel problems associated with it. To be sure, you should treat the physical problem with diarrhea tablets and so on, but you should also consider whether you are undergoing an anxiety attack or something similar.

frustrated woman

Credit – CCO Licence

General Aches & Pains


One of the stranger instances of psychological upset causing physical discomfort is when you experience general aches and pains throughout the body, without any apparent cause at all. Actually, most of the time the culprit is one of the most common mental disorders in the world: depression. It is still not a very well known fact that depression does cause bodily pain of all kinds, particularly aches and pains throughout the limbs and torso. If you experience such sensations, ask yourself whether you are currently going through a bout of depression – and if so, be sure to speak out and seek some help.


Heart Palpitations


Of course, at its most serious a heart palpitation can be an early warning sign of a heart attack, and such a possibility should always be ruled out by a doctor first before looking at other possibilities. But a heart palpitation can also occur as a result of stress, anxiety, or even a feeling of paranoia. It might often be enough to calm one’s mind, at which point you might find that your heart begins to calm too.


These are just some of the examples of physical problems caused by psychological ailments. It’s good to know them, but bear in mind that there might be many more.

Mandy X