MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
A common theme in somatoform disorders is their occurrence in
people who do not express conflicts, stress, and emotions verbally. They
express themselves through physical symptoms; the resulting attention and
focus on their physical ailments somewhat meet their needs. As these clients
are better able to express their emotions and needs directly, physical symptoms
subside. Thus, assisting them to deal with emotional issues directly is a
strategy for mental health promotion.
Somatoform disorders have declined over the past few decades, in
part due to increased knowledge of the public, increasing self-awareness or
self-knowledge, and scientific evidence of mind–body interaction. Some would
credit the Internet with putting unlimited resources at people’s finger-tips,
and knowledge often precedes understanding and behavior change. Interestingly,
there are others that credit the Internet accessibility with feeding some
peoples’ fears about their health—called cyberchondria (Harding, Skrits-kaya,
Doherty, & Fallon, 2008).