Respiratory diseases with a psychosomatic component in adolescents

Adolesc Med. 2000 Oct;11(3):547-65.


Adolescence is often a time of emotional upheaval and it is no wonder that many respiratory diseases with a psychosomatic component find their origins or time of exacerbation during this time of life. Adolescents who present with unexplained respiratory diseases may also suffer from some form of psychosomatic illness. Recognition of the psychological contributions to symptoms related to the respiratory tract is essential for practitioners who care for adolescents. This article includes some of the more common respiratory or related conditions that have psychological etiologies or components and are encountered in the adolescent patient. These include psychogenic cough, sighing dyspnea, hyperventilation, vocal cord dysfunction, and emotional state as a trigger for asthma. This review provides a general discussion of these conditions and an overview of issues related to psychological/psychiatric evaluation and the reluctance of patients and their parents to access mental health treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Cough / etiology
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / psychology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / therapy