PSYCH  Vol.4 No.7 , July 2013
Six Categories of Illnesses
Author(s) Paul Valent*

Studies show that between 40% and 60% of patients attending emergency departments have medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) that are determined by psychosocial factors. However, there exists no clear categorization of these factors and the symptoms that they produce. This paper delineates six categories of illnesses that help to overcome this deficit. The categories of illnesses are 1) Typical physical illnesses; 2) Typical psychiatric illnesses; 3) Psychophysiological symptoms; 4) Symptoms associated with reliving traumas; 5) “Cherished” or hysterical symptoms; 6) Symptoms that identify with illnesses of others. Clinical examples of each category are provided.

Cite this paper
Valent, P. (2013). Six Categories of Illnesses. Psychology, 4, 569-571. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.47082.
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[2]   Stephenson, D. T., & Price, J. R. (2006). Medically unexplained physical symptoms in emergency medicine. Emergency Medicine Journal, 23, 595-600. doi:10.1136/emj.2005.032854

[3]   Valent, P. (1979). Psychosomatic aspects of illness. Patient Management, 8, 21-28.

[4]   Valent, P. (1998). Trauma and fulfilment therapy; A wholist framework. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel.

[5]   Valent, P. (1998a). From survival to fulfilment; A framework for the life-trauma dialectic. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel.

[6]   Valent, P. (2009). In two minds; Tales of a psychotherapist. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.