In the article we present a theoretical model of the processes leading to somatic fixation. Three feedback loops are described:
- The internal circle, which states that the patient himself hinders the recovery, because of his way of responding to and handling of somatic complaints.
- The external circle shows how a person gets more and more fixed into the role of patient, because of the reactions of the social setting to his complaints and to his illness behaviour.
- The patient-attendant circle. There are pitfalls, both for medical and non-medical attendants ; stepping into them may contribute to somatic fixation and may result into a more dependent and helpless patient.