Psychological symptom escalation is defined as an increase in the ferocity of the symptomatic expression when the present pain condition does not fulfill the needs of the mindbody imperative. This means that the present set of psychosomatic symptoms do not adequately hold the attention of the consciousness enough to succeed in preventing the potential for discovery of hidden and repressed psychological issues imprisoned in the subconscious mind.
Symptom escalation is a mindbody condition that I have personally experienced in my battle to overcome back pain and other psychosomatic pain syndromes. People who are prone to developing psychosomatic conditions will often experience a variety of different symptoms throughout their lives, with the majority of expressions getting more severe as time goes by.
This essay defines and examines symptom escalation in relation to a psychogenic pain syndrome.
What is Psychological Symptom Escalation?
The subconscious mind creates psychosomatic pain in order to defend the consciousness of the individual from repressed emotional troubles. These concerns may be blatant or extremely subtle. Regardless, these sensitive issues are always trying to find their way into the conscious mind, which is an evolution that is prohibited by their subconscious jailer. In order to ensure these issues remain locked away, the subconscious mind creates pain.
The severity of symptoms often coincides with the sensitivity of the repressed issues. Minor issues will often produce minor annoying pain syndromes. Critical issues will produce overwhelming pain and disability. As we age, the amount of repressed emotionally charged issues in our subconscious mind increases steadily. It is because of this reason that symptom escalation occurs.
Escalation can also occur when treatment for the pain is successful through pure efficacy or by the power of placebo treatment. Regardless, the subconscious does not want the symptoms to resolve and therefore replaces them with a more extreme set.
Causes of Mindbody Symptom Escalation
There are 3 primary causes for the escalation of psychosomatic pain symptoms:
Increased amount of repressed issues will produce an increase in symptoms. Life creates situations and experiences that either create new issues or remind us of long forgotten childhood emotions and fears. This is the normal reason for a sudden and unexplained onset of psychosomatic symptoms of any type.
Inefficiency of a present pain syndrome will cause a steady escalation in symptom severity. This was my ongoing pain profile. I had a variety of psychosomatic pain conditions as a child, teen and young adult. I suffered from digestive tract sensitivity, knee pain, tendonitis in my wrists, headaches and allergies. None of these pain syndromes were efficient enough to really distract me from my repressed emotional issues. My subconscious searched for some other solution and eventually discovered back pain as its champion. This was the ultimate solution my subconscious required, since back pain took control of my life for decades.
Successful treatment of any chronic condition can bring about the start of a new expression which is likely to be worse than the last. I see this often when the patient enjoys surgical placebo only to suffer a terrible new set of symptoms in another location. Additional information about associated pain syndromes can be found on our page titled, back pain substitute symptoms.
Ending Psychological Symptom Escalation
If you are experiencing severe unresolved back pain, there is a good chance that you have a history of one or more psychological pain syndromes. You might even be experiencing a few in combination with your back ache right now. Maybe you are suffering from another pain syndrome as your primary torturer. For me, it was back pain, but for you, it could be any one of the vast variety of mindbody pain conditions. One thing is sure, these psychologically induced syndromes are an epidemic plaguing the healthcare system and show no sign of slowing down.
Medical science has been universally inept in the management of these conditions, since it still does not understand how to diagnose or treat psychosomatic pain. The best way to find a cure, for many patients, is through introspection and knowledge therapy.
Although doctors are more conscious now than ever before of the mindbody processes, effective diagnostic and treatment strategies are still decades away. We are suffering right now. Is there hope? Sure, but it may take being far more proactive in your own healthcare than you ever imagined. Get involved. Read and research. You might be the best hope that you have.