Most medical and mental health professionals understand that there is a link between mental and physical illness, but many doctors overlook or ignore physical complaints from a patient who has been diagnosed with a mental illness. The latest research in this area shows that many mental disorders including panic disorder occur along with certain physical disorders. Investigators hope that the latest research will make medical care providers think twice before they disregard complaints of physical illness or jump to the assumption that the physical complaints are caused by the mental disorder and not an actual physical cause. One mental disorder that can cause physical symptoms is panic disorder. SUNY Downstate Medical Center professor of psychiatry Jeremy D. Coplan, M.D. and his colleagues have documented evidence which shows that there is a very high rate of association between physical illness in four certain domains and panic disorder.
The link between physical illness and panic disorder will hopefully adjust the way that doctors and mental health professionals see the boundaries that seperate physical and mental illness. Dr. Coplan is a neuropsychopharmacology expert. Coplan discussed the study and findings, stating “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. 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.”