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Mental imagery on medically unexplained symptoms

      Mental images are characterised by their subjective resemblance to sensory impressions as if 'seeing with the mind's eye' or 'hearing with the mind's ear'. Mental imagery has a powerful impact on emotions, enhances subjective conviction about the possibility of the occurrence of an imagined event, and increases the chance of enacting uopn the imagined behaviours. Mental imagery has been associated with the severity of major depressive disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, anxiety disorders including vomit phobia, as well as bipolar disorders. To date, there has been no study that investigates the relations between mental images and medically unexplained symptoms. The lecture will provide preliminary data on mental imagery susceptibility in patients with medically unexplained symptoms when compared with healthy subjects. An anecdotal example will also be provided on how data on mental imagery susceptibility may be applied to enhance current psychological interventions for medically unexplained symptoms.
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