Anxiety and somatization

Rudolf Hoehn-Saric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Contrary to self-reports, most patients with chronic anxiety disorders exhibit increased muscle tension but not autonomic hyperarousal when at rest. Under everyday stress they tend to react with less physiological flexibility than normal controls. However, they overreact subjectively and physiologically to stimuli that are anxiety-provoking. Diminished physiological flexibility (DPF) may be caused by anxiety-induced cerebral overresponse to neutral stimuli, leading to poor discrimination to inputs that are not related to psychopathology. There is only a weak relationship and, in some instances, a desynchrony between physiological changes and perception of change under stress. The inconsistencies between self-reports of physiological states and physiological recordings can be explained by alterations of body sensations through psychological factors, predominantly expectations and attention to bodily states that lead to perceptual distortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-372
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Congress Series
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety disorder
  • Perception
  • Physiological flexibility
  • Somatic symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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