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Psychological medicine

Dealing with somatic presentations of mental health problems

Jeffrey Streimer

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Abstract

Of all mental health problems encountered by GPs, over half will present with somatic symptoms alone, while only 20% will present with psychological symptoms (even fewer in some cultural groups)

Article Extract

Remember
  • In a large proportion of presentations to general practitioners no physical cause is found, and mental health problems are prevalent among them.
  • Common somatic presentations of mental health issues include tiredness, lethargy, vague chest or abdominal aches and pains, headaches, dizziness and tension.
  • Physical and psychological problems may coexist or be causally linked, so avoid conveying a mind–body dichotomy to patients.

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