is to amplify physical symptoms based on psychological factors such as anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...
: "somatosensory amplification refers to the tendency to experience somatic sensation as intense, noxious, and disturbing. What may be a minor 'twinge' or mild 'soreness' to the stoic, is a severe, consuming pain to the amplifier."
Psychological state has been documented to affect the course of upper respiratory tract infection, post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, and musculoskeletal pain.
Amplification is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the most influential worldwide. Its some 38,000 members are mainly American but some are international...
The Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SAS) has been validated to measure amplification. The scale contains four items measured with a 5 item Likert scale
A Likert scale is a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is the most widely used approach to scaling responses in survey research, such that the term is often used interchangeably with rating scale, or more accurately the Likert-type scale, even though...
- Sudden loud noises really disturb me
- I'm very uncomfortable when I'm in a place that is too hot or too cold
- I can't stand pain as well as most people can
- I find I'm often aware of various things happening in my body
- I'm quick to sense the hunger contractions in my stomach
Amplification is related to alexithymia
Alexithymia from the Ancient Greek words λέξις and θυμός modified by an alpha-privative—literally "without words for emotions"—is a term coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing...
. Amplification may also contribute to multiple-drug intolerance (if the adverse effects that are reported are non-specific). It is unclear whether amplification is related to observations that Type A personality
Originally published in the 1950s, the Type A and Type B personality theory is a theory which describes two common, contrasting personality types—the high-strung Type A and the easy-going Type B—as patterns of behavior that could either raise or lower, respectively, one's chances of developing...
trait may be associated with delayed recovery after organic illness.