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The challenge

It is the general view that the body and the mind are two different and separate entities that do not have much to do with one another. Many people believe that you are either physically ill – and the cause is to be located and 'fixed', e.g. with medicine or an operation – or you are mentally ill, something personal and private. This view reaches far back.

Research today shows that a human being cannot be divided like this. The body, mind, culture, gender, social conditions, family, environment and many other factors affect each other in a complex interplay.

Imagine if the body were merely a machine

If you were sick, it would be great if you just had to replace a part to get well again. Unfortunately, that is rarely how it is. Most illnesses unfold in the entire organism and implicate both the physical, the psychological and the immediate surroundings.

Some illnesses are best understood if you look at them in a so-called bio-psycho-social model where you involve both the physical, the psychological and the social aspects.

Functional disorders are challenging

Functional disorders challenge our usual way of thinking that an illness is either purely physical, psychological, social or something else. To understand functional disorders it is necessary to look at the body, the mind and society as factors affecting each other and which all can be the cause of an illness.

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Revised 23.04.2012