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Continuum of diagnostic categories or the question of the transitions between physical and mental illnesses

The term psychogenesis can be used in the following three meanings:

  1. Development and change of individual mental abilities as well as the mental structure ( psyche ) of an individual in the course of his life history ( ontogenesis ). Examples are the development from child to adolescent and adult or from short chains of action to longer ones, or from coarser to “finer” behavior, etc.
  2. gradual development of mental functions within different species ( phylogenesis ). Examples are genealogical informative behaviors, such as those described by comparative ethology .
  3. Development history of psychiatric and psychosomatic illnesses as well as their psychological causes and conditions (also called psychogeny in this context ).


Psychogenie is also the most frequently used noun for common compositions with the adjective psychogen , which was first used by Robert Sommer in the sense of " grounded in the psyche itself". It is a term that distinguishes itself from somatic causation (= somatogenic ) and refers to physical (such as movement disorders) and mental disorders and behaviors that are not the result of physical causes, but rather the result of psychological autonomy. So z. B. spoken of psychogenic depression , which means reactive depression. In the case of psychogenic paralysis , hysterical symptoms are considered ( conversion disorder ). Psychogenic seizures are not organically caused and therefore non-epileptic seizures (see epilepsy ). Psychogeny refers to downward effects .

Psychological development

This term is described differently depending on the psychological school.

In psychoanalysis , the development is described in direct connection with the prenatal unit “mother-child”, which leads through detachment, the defiant phase and puberty to adulthood. There is also an almost inexhaustible selection of literature.

In humanistic psychology it is assumed that the mental possibilities are already created in the child and that it is essentially about creating an environment in which the child can develop his abilities in the best possible way.

A behavior-therapeutic explanation for psychogenesis is the shaping of behavior through reward ( conditioning ), behavior change ( shaping ) or breaking habits ( chaining ).

Developmental psychology and brain research use structural models of the brain or psyche , which are related to the aspects of self-organization and hierarchization of behavior. Prominent representatives are, for example, the basic psychogenetic law of Stanley Hall , the intelligence structure model by Piaget and the model of ego development by Jane Loevinger .

See also

  • somatic = physically or somatically caused, relating to "somatogenesis", d. H. the physical history of an illness
  • iatrogenic = caused by the doctor
  • endogenous = caused from "within" (see endogenous psychosis , endogenous eczema , etc.)
  • Functional syndromes = a term that does indeed relate to the function of individual organs and is therefore physiological, but which encompasses a wide range of meanings between organic and psychological , cf. also psychophysiology .
  • Reactivity (medicine) = in medicine and psychology the result of specified or suspected mostly external triggering or causal factors, e.g. B. reactive lymphadenitis, reactive depression, etc.
  • Peristasis (biology) = not genetically triggered, but by environmental factors.
  • pathoplastic = social and cultural factors "helping to shape" the symptoms of the disease, but not "causing" them (teaching of classical German psychiatry)
  • psychodynamic = mostly related to the forces that the mental apparatus according to Sigmund Freud provides - or simply a mentally sensitive reaction in the sense of psychodynamism.
  • Couvade syndrome
  • Munchausen Syndrome

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Manuel Dafotakis, Dennis A. Nowak: Psychogenic movement disorders - clinic, additional diagnosis and differential diagnosis. In: Current Neurology. Volume 42, 2015, pp. 603-610.
  2. Uwe Henrik Peters : Lexicon of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Medical Psychology . Urban & Fischer, Munich 6 2007; ISBN 978-3-437-15061-6 ; Page 432 (online)
  3. Thure von Uexküll (Ed. And others): Psychosomatic Medicine . 3rd edition, Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-541-08843-5 ; Pp. 613, 732, 773, 1286, 1288 f. to control unit “downward effect”.