Six Categories of Illnesses


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.

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Valent, P. (2013). Six Categories of Illnesses. Psychology, 4, 569-571. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.47082.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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