Psychogenic pain, also known as psychalgia, is a form of somatoform disorder. Its symptoms include pain in the abdomen, head, or skin rashes. Psychogenic pain is similar to psychosomatic pain, which arises from emotional disorders. As pediatricians warn, the essence of somatic pain in young children lies in their psyche. It is responsible for somatic disorders without apparent cause.

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Somatoform Disorders

Psychogenic pain is a form of somatoform disorder, which is characterized by a feeling of prolonged and acute pain in the absence of objective medical confirmation. The cause of psychogenic pain is emotional and psychosocial problems. Unexplained somatic pain is diagnosed as a disorder and has much in common with psychosomatic disorders. Symptoms of psychogenic pain in children include:

If a child complains of such symptoms and parents also notice other disturbing signs, they often visit a doctor. Then, after a thorough examination, it is revealed that the cause is the child’s psyche. They are not somatic, but they stem from emotional problems of the toddler. Their causes may be:

  • difficulties in coping with emotions and experiences,
  • difficult situation at home or in kindergarten,
  • emotional problems with peers, siblings, or parents.

The diagnosis of psychogenic pain requires treatment.

Persistent psychogenic pain

These pains often occur when a child wants to draw attention to themselves, feels lonely and abandoned. The solution may be to strengthen the child’s bonds with their parents. When your child experiences psychogenic pain and cries, it is worth hugging, stroking and showing support. This helps the toddler experience less anxiety and feel safer. If the child starts to cry even more intensely in the parents’ arms, they must allow it, as it paradoxically soothes their emotions. If a child experiences psychogenic pain, explain to them why they have pain, what causes their condition, and what steps you will take to help them. When pain attacks occur, try to keep your child distracted from repeating unpleasant events and related illnesses. You can tell them an interesting story, look at shared photos, or read them a story. In addition, when psychosomatic pain occurs, you can sing a lullaby to the baby or offer them a game in which they can relax.

Psychogenic pain negatively affects children’s emotions. Some of them are lethargic, withdrawn and have a bad mood. Others may become overly angry. All of these symptoms of negative emotions worsen the child’s pain.