Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
Stress-Related Diseases: Prevalence and Disease Patterns
by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
A review of stress and its relationship to disease from two physicians, researchers at the National Institutes of Health, cited the role of stress in a broad array of psychiatric disorders, autoimmune diseases, coronary heart disease, functional disorders of the intestinal tract, chronic pain, and a range of other medical and psychological disorders.
G. P. Chrousos and P. W. Gold, The Concepts of Stress and Stress System Disorders. Journal of the American Medical Association, 267, 1992, 1244-1252)
A documented relationship was shown between distress, medical use, and mental health. As many as 60 percent of total patient visits to physicians are due to emotional problems, not physical ailments.
(Cummings and VandenBos, The Twenty Year Kaiser Permanente Experience with Psychotherapy and Medical Utilization, Health Policy Quarterly, 1 (2), Summer, 1981).
Most standard medical textbooks attribute anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of all disease to psychosomatic or stress-related origins. Even the most conservative sources classify the following illnesses as psychosomatic: peptic ulcer, mucous colitis, ulcerative colitis, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, urticaria and angioneurotic edema, hay fever, arthritis, Raynaud's disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, amenorrhea, enuresis, paroxysmal tachycardia, migraine headache, impotence, general sexual dysfunctions, sleep-onset insomnia, alcoholism, and the whole range of neurotic and psychotic disorders.
(Kenneth R. Pelletier, Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer, Delta Book, Dell Publishing, Inc.: New York, New York, 1977, page 7).
In 1976, the American Medical Association testified before the U.S. Senate Health Committee that in the United States on any given day, 60 to 70 percent of the patients who are waiting to see the physician either have no physical disease but are somatizing stress, or stress is impeding the treatment and healing of a physical condition. . . Despite their relatively small number, however, somatizers account for a disproportionate share of the nation's medical bills. They repeatedly go to doctors in a fruitless search for diagnosis and treatment and have yearly medical costs 10 to 14 times higher than the national average, according to Michael Kashner, a medical economist at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. Charles Ford, who has analyzed the problem for the American Academy of Family Physicians, estimates that somewhere between $20 and $30 billion a year is spent on unnecessary care for somatizers.
(Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D. Somatization: when physical Symptoms Have No Medical Cause, in MindBody Medicine, Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. and Joel Gurin, Eds., Consumer Reports Books, Consumer Union: Yonkers, New York, 1993, 221-230, citation: 224-225).
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