In current literature there seems to be increasing emphasis on the psychogenic aspects of diseases, even those illnesses which are usually considered purely biological in etiology, such as pulmonary tuberculosis.17 In an effort to clarify the area of "psychosomatic disorders" and to differentiate conversion hysteria, organ neuroses, and typical biological diseases, the psychiatric term "psychophysiologic autonomic and visceral disorder" is now preferred. This term implies that the "symptoms are due to a chronic and exaggerated state of normal physiologic expression of emotion... which may lead to structural changes."2 Psychophysiologic disorders, then, are restricted to those disorders that involve organs and viscera innervated by the autonomic nervous system, rather than by a more voluntary control or perception.
The concept involved in the definition has directed research toward studying each type of disorder and its related personality type or traits. This approach, however, has created conflicting findings and disagreements. For
FRANKS J, HASLERUD GM, NISWANDER GD, CASEY TM. Role of Anxiety in Psychophysiologic ReactionsA Study of Sixty-Seven Postlobotomy Patients Concerning Psychophysiologic Complaints and Symptoms Before and After Operation. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(2):227–232. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340140093013