Somatic Symptom Disorder

By Johnna Medina, M.A.

Somatic symptom disorder has replaced the what was formerly known as “Somatization Disorder” in DSM-IV.

Somatic Symptom disorder involves being distressed or having one’s life disrupted by concerns involving physical symptoms for which a physical cause cannot be found. A person with this disorder may worry excessively over a certain health sensations and symptoms, such as stomach pain. They may believe the sensation indicates a serious illness like stomach cancer, although they may not have objective evidence from a doctor to substantiate that concern.

They may go to great lengths to attend to or to investigate their health symptoms.

Diagnostic criteria states that the person must exhibit signs of somatic symptom disorder (e.g., concern over physical health or anxiety over somatic sensations) for at least 6 months, although the actual pain or symptom does not have to be present the entire duration.

 

DSM-5 diagnostic code 300.82.

 

 

APA Reference
Medina, J. (2014). Somatic Symptom Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/somatic-symptom-disorder/

Symptom criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
        or
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Sep 2014
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.