The Psychosomatic Stigma

Ignorance is undermining our health

Janice Tovey
3 min readNov 18


Antique typewriter with the word truth.
Photo by Markus Winkler on UnsplashT

The diagnosis of psychosomatic is more than a little misleading. It is outdated and damaging. Especially in an enlightened world where acceptance and scientific proof for the mind/body/spirit connection abound.

This stigma is subtle, almost intangible. The buzz of judgement and intolerance deeply sensed.

In my book, Heal Frozen Shoulder: A Holistic Approach to Recovery I examine the collateral damage inflicted on individuals living with a so-called psychosomatic diagnosis, in this case idiopathic frozen shoulder, and strive to empower healing through truth and understanding.

This book sheds much needed light on the shadowy underbelly of frozen shoulder, specifically on an idiopathic frozen shoulder diagnosis or unknown cause. Frozen shoulder patients feel branded, stigmatized by a cloud of judgement, an antiquated notion that a possible psychosomatic connection renders a less serious affliction. That somehow their painful and altered reality isn’t real. That it is all in their head.
Are frozen shoulder patients supposed to feel ashamed? Really? How does that support healing?
A diagnosis of idiopathic (we don’t know) in the 21st century sounds rather idiotic. We are just not sure what is going on doesn’t quite cut it.

Do you feel like screaming every time you are told that “we can’t say for sure what is causing your painful one to three year disability.”
Even worse, “not to worry, it will disappear on its own in a couple of years.”
Are you frustrated when you are handed a bill for expensive rehabilitation, coupled with an uncertain future.
Is that pat on the back starting to get on your nerves? Ouch!
The data on frozen shoulder’s tsunami type destruction is shrouded by ignorance and neglect.

The elephant in the room is restless.
The irony of the psychosomatic myth is that modern day science backs the significance of a mind, body, and soul connection.
This psychosomatic lens adding insult to an already painful injury with serious implications for diagnosis, research, funding, employment, treatment, prevention, well being, patient management and recovery.
Individuals afflicted with frozen shoulder report an inability to cook, dress, shower, work or sleep, with profound personal, occupational…



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.