New Study Clarifies Relationship between Anxiety and Physical Disorders

New Study Clarifies Relationship between Anxiety and Physical Disorders
When mental and physical illnesses occur together, patients' subjective accounts of physical symptoms they're experiencing are sometimes arbitrarily discredited or dismissed by physicians, even though the relationship between mental and physical health is well established and documented. Recent research by State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center professor of psychiatry Jeremy D. Coplan, MD, and colleagues has discovered a high rate of association between panic disorder and four domains of physical illness -- findings that could alter the way physicians and psychiatrists view perceived boundaries within and between psychiatric and medical disorders. "Patients who appear to have certain somatic disorders - illnesses for which there is no detectable medical cause and which physicians may consider to be imagined by the patient -- may instead have a genetic propensity to develop a series of real, related illnesses," maintains Dr. Coplan, who is also an expert in neuropsychopharmacology, In a SUNY Downstate release. The research team led by Dr. Coplan found a high correlation between panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and physical illness, and noted significantly higher prevalence of certain physical illnesses among panic disorder patients as compared to the general population. "Panic disorder itself may be a predictor for a number of physical conditions previously considered unrelated to mental conditions, and for which there may be no or few biological markers," Dr. Coplan explains. The study is published in The Journal Of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences entitled
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