The human body is a fantastic, complex and fascinating system that we only partly understand. It behaves in ways that sometimes seem highly unlikely. However, just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
Stress and anxiety are common in most workplaces. Individuals and leaders are increasingly aware of the more frequent physical, mental and behavioral signs of stress. Somatization, though, is perhaps less common and less well understood in the workplace. Essentially, somatization is simply a physical or neurological symptom occurring as the result of a mental condition.
The key point to remember here is that these are real symptoms. They occur because of mental conditions, but they are still very real and can be very debilitating. They can appear at all ages and are often the result of stress and anxiety. It’s often the case that the individuals who are experiencing these symptoms are themselves not really aware that they are the result of mental conditions.
In our view, it’s worth being aware of the phenomenon of somatization, though we’ve never knowingly come across it in the workplace.