Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Psychogenic Disorder

  • Natalie Dattilo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_2053-2



Psychogenic disorder is the name given to any physical ailment that is believed to arise from emotional, psychological, or mental stressors. It is most commonly applied to conditions where a physical abnormality or other biomarker has not yet been identified.

Historical Background

Psychogenic disorders were first described in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was Sigmund Freud who first demonstrated the importance of the emotions in producing mental disturbances and somatic disorders (Kaplan et al. 2015). Freud’s work influenced a number of individuals, including Sandor Ferenczi, who in 1926 proposed the idea that conversion reactions were under the control of the autonomous nervous system. In the twentieth century, “psychogenic” or “somaticized” symptoms evolved from predominantly neurologic (e.g., hysterical paralysis) to symptoms such as fatigue and chronic pain. This change has...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fahn, S., & Olanow, C. W. (2014). Psychogenic movement disorders: They are what they are. Movement Disorders, 29, 853–610.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Fava, G. A., & Sonino, N. (2000). Psychosomatic medicine: Emerging trends and perspectives. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 69, 184–197.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Kranick, S., Ekanayake, V., Martinez, V., Ameli, R., Hallett, M., & Voon, V. (2011). Psychopathology and psychogenic movement disorders. Movement Disorders, 26, 1844–1850.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Psychosomatic medicine. In Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed., pp. 465–503). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  6. Shorter, E. (1992). From paralysis to fatigue: A history of psychosomatic illness in the modern era. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Dattilo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA