00:00 / 00:00
Generalized anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder
Major depressive disorder
Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Lewy body dementia
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Autism spectrum disorder
Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Body dysmorphic disorder
Body focused repetitive disorders
Cluster A personality disorders
Cluster B personality disorders
Cluster C personality disorders
Female sexual interest and arousal disorder
Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder
Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder
Somatic symptom disorder
Alcohol use disorder
Physical and sexual abuse
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Amnesia, dissociative disorders and delirium: Pathology review
Anxiety disorders, phobias and stress-related disorders: Pathology Review
Childhood and early-onset psychological disorders: Pathology review
Dementia: Pathology review
Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Alcohol: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Hallucinogens: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Other depressants: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Stimulants: Pathology review
Eating disorders: Pathology review
Malingering, factitious disorders and somatoform disorders: Pathology review
Mood disorders: Pathology review
Personality disorders: Pathology review
Psychiatric emergencies: Pathology review
Psychological sleep disorders: Pathology review
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Pathology review
Trauma- and stress-related disorders: Pathology review
0 / 7 complete
0 / 4 complete
Somatic symptom disorder, which used to be called somatization or somatoform disorder, involves physical symptoms that aren’t explained by any known physical or mental disorder; in other words, their origins are unknown.
That said, individuals aren’t “faking” their symptoms; these symptoms are very real and often made worse by the fact that they cannot be scientifically explained.
This is pretty different from situations where an individual with a factitious disorder might fake an illness or injury in order to get attention.
A diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder requires that individuals experience some set of unexplained physical symptoms, called somatic symptoms, for a period of at least 6 months.
The symptoms experienced by individuals with this disorder can be incredibly varied, encompassing anything from pain to gastrointestinal problems to sexual symptoms.
Although the somatic symptoms being experienced are chronic, the exact location, kind, and severity of the symptoms typically changes over time.
The one symptom that does often persist over time is chronic pain, and because it’s persistent and has no clear underlying cause, it can be particularly hard to treat.
Somatic symptom disorder often leads to cognitive symptoms as well, with people having persistent thoughts and feelings about their symptoms, like worry and anxiety, and sometimes in particularly bad cases, catastrophic thoughts about death.
More often than not, it’s these cognitive symptoms felt in response to the physical symptoms, rather than the physical symptoms themselves, that are used as the basis for a diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder.
In fact, clinicians rate the severity of somatic symptom disorder based on the person’s experience with these cognitive symptoms, rather than the physical ones.
The condition is considered mild if there’s only one cognitive symptom, like ruminating a lot on the symptoms.
It would be considered moderate if there are two or more cognitive symptoms, like rumination and anxiety.
Somatic symptom disorder (SSD), formerly known as somatoform disorder, is a mental health condition characterized by somatic symptoms that are not fully explained by a medical condition and are followed by excessive thought, feeling, and behaviors related to somatic symptoms. People with SSD experience significant distress and impairment in daily functioning. The symptoms can range from pain, fatigue, and digestive problems to sexual dysfunctions and sensory symptoms. Treatment for SSD typically involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. The goal of treatment is to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
Latest on COVID-19
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Physician Assistant (PA)
Create custom content
Raise the Line Podcast
Copyright © 2024 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.
Cookies are used by this site.
Terms and Conditions
USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.