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Somatic symptom disorder : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


What is Somatic symptom disorder (SSD)?

Somatic symptom disorder is characterized by an extreme focus on physical symptoms, which often causes major emotional distress and problems functioning. Sometimes you might have another diagnosed medical condition alongside these symptoms, but it doesn't mean that your reaction to them is wrong. The symptoms are not normal.

What is Somatic symptom disorder (SSD)?
Somatic symptom disorder (SSD)

You often think the worst about your symptoms and frequently go to see a doctor in search of an explanation even when other serious medical conditions have been ruled out. Because your health concerns are such a central focus of your life, it can be hard to function sometimes, leading to disability.

If you have somatic symptom disorder, you may experience significant emotional and physical distress. Treatment can help diminish symptoms, which can improve your quality of life.

  1. Nervous system

Medical terms

Somatic symptom disorder is a disorder within which people feel too distressed regarding their health and even have abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in response to their symptoms. There are totally different subtypes of the disorder that support the patient’s complaint. The disorder causes a pause within the patient’s traditional functioning and quality of life.

Though an individual with corporal symptom disorder reports symptoms, the symptoms might not have any medical explanation. Even once there's a medical cause, the person’s worry is out of proportion to the symptom. The distress causes the patient to go to multiple care suppliers and to have many medical tests and supernumerary procedures.

  • Somatic symptom disorder (SSD), formerly known as somatoform disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical condition. People with SSD may experience extreme levels of distress and disability due to these physical symptoms, which can include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and abdominal pain. The precise underlying cause of SSD is unknown; however, it is believed that underlying psychological and environmental factors can contribute to the development of the disorder. Treatment for SSD includes psychotherapy, medication, and physical approaches such as yoga or exercise.

  • Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is a mental health condition that causes physical symptoms. It is characterized by physical pain and other physical symptoms that have no clear physical cause and are disproportionately severe or prolonged compared to the expected course of the symptom. People with SSD tend to worry excessively about the symptoms, often to the point of avoiding activities due to fear of experiencing the discomfort. In some cases, SSD can have a severe impact on quality of life, making it difficult to work, participate in leisure activities, or even maintain relationships.

Symptoms Somatic symptom disorder

Some symptoms of somatic symptom disorder may include:

  • Some specific sensations such as pain or difficulty breathing or more general symptoms such as fatigue or weakness may occur.

  • This is something more significant than what is usually expected, but it has not been caused by any known medical issues.

  • One symptom can sometimes lead to multiple symptoms, or symptoms can vary.

  • Mild, moderate or severe

The most common symptom of mental illness is pain. However, whatever your symptoms are, you have excessive thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to them that cause significant problems and make it difficult to function.

These things can include:

  • Constant worry about potential illness

  • Believing that normal physical sensations are a sign of serious physical illness is considered to be a sign of being ill.

  • You may be concerned about something even if you don't have any evidence to support your worry.

  • Believing that physical sensations are harmful or threatening

  • I think that medical evaluation and treatment have not been enough.

  • You may be hesitant to engage in physical activity because you are afraid it might damage your body.

  • Make sure to check your body for any abnormalities regularly.

  • If you have health concerns that haven't been relieved or have gotten worse, see a doctor more often.

  • If a person does not respond to medical treatment or becomes unusually sensitive to medication side effects, that person might have a serious medical condition.

  • Having a more serious impairment than is usually expected from a medical condition

For somatic symptom disorder, more important than the specific physical symptoms you experience is how you interpret and react to the symptoms and how they impact your daily life.

When to see a doctor

If you are not sure what is causing your physical symptoms, you should see your primary care provider. If your primary care provider believes that you may have somatic symptom disorder, he or she can refer you to a mental health professional. A health professional can help you with this problem.

Caring for a loved one is important.

When physical symptoms that are considered to be somatic symptom disorder occur it can be difficult for the person to accept that a life-threatening illness has been eliminated as the cause. Symptoms are very real for the person and reassurance isn't always helpful. encouragement If you have a mental health disorder, there is a possibility that you will be referred to learn ways to cope with the symptoms and any disabilities it may cause.

A physical disability may cause someone to be dependent and require extra physical care and emotional support. If you feel overwhelmed by your role as a caregiver, you may want to talk to a mental health professional to address your concerns. You should consider your own needs.

Causes Somatic symptom disorder

It is not clear why some people develop somatic symptom disorder, but any of these things may be involved:

  • Genetic and biological factors, such as an increased sensitivity to pain

  • Family influence,Some things are inherited, while others may be caused by environmental factors or both.

  • Personality traits of negativity,Conditioning can impact how you identify and perceive illness and bodily symptoms.

  • Loss of emotion awareness or difficulty understanding and responding to emotions.The symptoms of a mental illness are usually the focus, rather than the emotional issues that cause them.

  • Learned behavior —One way that illnesses and symptoms can benefit someone is by gaining their attention or other benefits. Alternatively, certain behaviors that are often done in response to symptoms (such as excessive avoidance of activity) can increase one's level of disability.

Risk factors Somatic symptom disorder

There are risk factors for somatic symptom disorder, including:

  • Having anxiety or depression

  • Having a medical condition or recovering from one means having a lot of trouble with your body.

  • Having a medical condition increases your risk of developing another disease.

  • Living through stressful life events, such as trauma or violence, can be traumatic.

  • People who have experienced traumatic events in their past may have a difficult time recovering.

  • People who have a lower level of education and socio-economic status are less likely to have access to good health care.

Complications Somatic symptom disorder

Somatic symptom disorder can be associated with: -Body changes, such as feeling tired or having a headache -Feeling stressed or anxious -Having trouble concentrating or making decisions

  • Poor health

  • People with disabilities often have problems functioning in daily life, including physical disabilities.

  • Problems with relationships

  • Problems at work or unemployment

  • Other mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, are also possible causes of chronic pain.

  • Depression can increase a person's risk of committing suicide.

  • Excessive health care visits can cause financial problems.

Prevention Somatic symptom disorder

There is little information about how to prevent somatic symptom disorder. However, following these recommendations may help:

  • If you have problems with anxiety or depression, see a professional. as soon as possible.

  • When you're stressed, you might feel tense or anxious. Recognize when you're feeling this way and take steps to relax.Stress can have negative effects on your body, and it's important to regularly practice stress management and relaxation techniques to stay healthy.

  • If you think you may have a somatic symptom disorder, get treatment as soon as possible.Decoupage can help to stop symptoms from getting worse and impairing your quality of life.

  • Stick with your treatment planTaking medication regularly can help prevent relapses or worsening of symptoms.

somatic symptom disorder example

A somatic symptom disorder is a mental illness defined by the presence of one or more chronic physical symptoms that cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning Persistent thoughts about these (or associated) physical symptoms are not justified by an appropriate medical evaluation nor are they culturally sanctioned beliefs regarding sickness behavior (e.g. hypochondriasis) As with any psychiatric diagnosis patients should be evaluated for any substance use or general medical conditions that may underlie or result from their symptoms.

somatic symptom disorder test

Somatic symptom disorder is a condition in which sufferers have persistent recurring pain in multiple parts of the body (a “somatic” sensation) that they cannot even identify Some people may also experience numbness tingling or dizziness to go along with the pain; however they still are unable to pinpoint where their ailments are coming from In addition these symptoms can occur anywhere from once a month to several times per day and last for thirty minutes or more each time While this is not an uncommon condition at all it does present some problems when trying to identify what exactly is causing the problem On.

Is somatic symptom disorder a mental illness?

Somatic symptom disorder also known as somatization disorder or Briquet's syndrome is a mental health condition that causes individuals to experience physical symptoms that are not linked to any underlying medical condition or disease The affected person will report multiple physical symptoms that may be related such as difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal issues in addition to pain in the joints and head In most cases there is no medical cause for the reported symptoms This results in great concern on part of the patient who becomes convinced that he has a serious illness when in fact he does not.

What is the most common symptom of somatic symptom disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a type of mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived flaws with your appearance This preoccupation impacts your life causing distress and anxiety If a BDD thought becomes overwhelming it can be hard to concentrate on anything else Common symptoms include: Excessive grooming of the skin and hair Avoidance of social situations and places where you may be seen by others such as mirrors or windows Preoccupation with surgery to fix the perceived flaw Binge eating characterized by purging afterward through vomiting or use of laxatives.

How do I stop somatic anxiety?

Somatic symptoms associated with anxiety are common and can overlap any type of physical symptoms It's important to recognize that just because you have those sensations doesn't mean something is wrong For example muscle tension in your back or neck could be due to stress or anxiety while nausea or heart palpitations could be a result of food poisoning or too much caffeine Catching the underlying cause will help your body relax and may eliminate the need for medication What should I do if I'm stressed? Focus on what you can control, not what you cannot control. Work through one problem at a time instead of trying to solve it.

How do you know if you're psychosomatic?

A psychosomatic disorder is diagnosed when symptoms such as pain or a medical condition that cannot be explained medically are caused by emotional problems Psychosomatic disorders include chronic fatigue syndrome irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia People with these conditions often engage in behaviors that make physical symptoms worse so psychotherapy can help them stop these behaviors Medications also may help control the physical symptoms of psychosomatic disorders.

somatic symptom disorder treatment

Somatic symptom disorder treatment is often more focused on the patient's underlying problems which may include depression A mental health professional can help identify your triggers and provide coping strategies to deal with them Medication may be required if you are dealing with an anxiety disorder in combination with somatic symptom disorder It will usually take several weeks for the medication to kick in but your doctor should have other techniques to help improve your symptoms during this time.

Diagnosis Somatic symptom disorder

To make a diagnosis, you will likely have a physical exam and any tests your doctor recommends. Your doctor can help determine if you have any health conditions that need treatment.

A medical care provider may also refer you to a mental health professional who can:

  • A psychological evaluation will be conducted to discuss your symptoms, fears, or concerns about stressful situations, relationship problems, or situations you may be avoiding. The evaluation will also look at your family history.

  • Do you want to take a psychological self-assessment or questionnaire?

  • Can I ask you about using drugs or alcohol?

Criteria for diagnosis

The DSM-5 published by the American Psychiatric Association stresses the following in the diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder:

  • You have one or more symptoms that are bothersome or cause you problems in your everyday life.

  • You have a lot of anxiety about your health or symptoms, or you spend too much time worrying about them.

  • You have been having the same symptoms for more than six months now, even though they may change from time to time.

Treatment Somatic symptom disorder

The goal of treatment for somatic symptom disorder is to improve your symptoms and enable you to function more effectively in your daily life. Psychotherapy may also be helpful for somatic symptom disorder, and medications may be added if you are struggling with feelings of depression.


Psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help improve physical symptoms if the psychological distress and health anxiety are causing the physical symptoms.

CBT can help you:

  • Health and physical symptoms can be examined and adapted to one's beliefs and expectations.

  • Learn how to reduce stress

  • Learn how to cope with physical symptoms

  • Reduce preoccupation with symptoms

  • Try to avoid situations and activities that make you uncomfortable, since this will reduce the amount of avoidance behavior.

  • Improve your daily functioning in all areas of your life. This includes improving your home life, at work, and in your relationships with others.

  • Mental health disorders can be treated with depression.

Families may benefit from therapy that examines family relationships and improves family support and functioning.


Antidepressant medication can help reduce symptoms of depression and pain that are often associated with somatic symptom disorder.

If one medication does not work well for you, your doctor may recommend trying a different medication or combining it with other treatments to increase its effectiveness. Remember that it can take several weeks after starting a medicine to see any improvement in symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about the available medications and their possible side effects and risks.

  1. Child medical and psychological care
  2. Psychological rehabilitation
  3. Rehabilitation of The Brain and Nerves

Lifestyle and home remedies

Some lifestyle and self-care steps can help people with somatic symptom disorder, such as these:

  • Work with your health care providers. Talk with your medical care provider and mental health professional about a regular schedule for visits. Make sure to build a trusting relationship so that you can discuss your concerns freely. Avoid seeking advice from multiple doctors. Having to go to the emergency room can make your care more difficult to coordinate and may subject you to duplicate testing.

  • Stress management and relaxation techniques can help you deal with stress.Stress management and relaxation techniques may help improve symptoms of anxiety.

  • Get physically active.A graded activity program may have a calming effect on your mood, which can improve your physical symptoms and help improve your physical function.

  • Participate in activities.Stay involved in your work and social activities while you are recovering. Don't wait until your symptoms have gone away to resume participation.

  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs.If you want to quit using substances, talk to your health care provider. It can be harder to manage your health care if you are using substances.

Preparing for your appointment

Your primary care provider may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist if you need evaluation and treatment for a medical condition.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Your symptoms,The occurrences of a fever and the symptoms that accompany it are important to understand and keep track of. These events and their consequences can affect your daily life.

  • Key personal information:It is important to include stressful events in your past and any traumatic events in your life when you are trying to overcome stress in the future.

  • Medical information,You may have other physical or mental health conditions along with your Crohn's disease.

  • Medications,Supplementing with vitamins, herbs, and other supplements requires precise dosage information.

  • QuestionsI should talk to my medical care provider or mental health professional about this.

If possible, ask a trusted family member or friend to go with you to your appointment. They can help you remember what you were told.

Questions to ask may include:

  • Do I have somatic symptom disorder?

  • What do you think is the best treatment approach?

  • Would therapy be helpful in my case?

  • How often will I need therapy and for how long?

  • Can I expect any side effects from the medications I'm being recommended?

  • How long will it take for the medication to work?

  • What will you do to check whether my treatment is working?

  • Can I do anything to manage my condition on my own?

  • Can I have any printed materials?

  • What websites do you like?

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

What to expect from your doctor

Your medical care provider or mental health professional may ask you questions such as: -What is your general health like? -What have you been doing recently? -Have you been feeling especially stressed or anxious lately?

  • What are your symptoms and when did they start?

  • How do your symptoms affect your life in general, such as at school, at work, and in personal relationships?

  • Do you or any of your family members have a mental health disorder?

  • Do you have any medical conditions?

  • Are you using alcohol or drugs recreationally? How often do you use them?

  • Do you get regular physical activity?

Your medical provider or mental health professional will ask additional questions based on your responses to symptoms and your needs. Preparing for and anticipating questions will help make the most of your appointment time.


General summary 

  1. Somatic symptom disorders are characterized by recurrent and persistent somatic symptoms that cause significant distress or impairment in functioning These symptoms must not be intentionally produced or feigned and they cannot be the direct effects of a substance (e.g. drug side effect) or a general medical condition (e.g. hypothyroidism) In addition to pain common somatic symptoms include fatigue gastrointestinal complaints and sexual dysfunction.
  2. Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is a mental health condition that involves multiple recurrent and distressing somatic symptoms — but not any underlying medical condition The physical symptoms are medically unexplained and cause significant distress preventing the individual from functioning normally SSD remains one of the least understood disorders in both the psychiatric world and general public.
Somatic symptom disorder : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

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