What is somatization? – Forbes Health

In the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) – the diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals – the former disorder class of ‘somatoform disorders’ is now classified as ‘somatic symptoms and related disorders’. These include the following:

Somatic Symptom Disorder

Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) is characterized by a marked focus on physical symptoms – which may or may not be related to a medical diagnosis – leading to undue concern about the symptoms and their possible consequences, causing significant distress or impairment in important areas of the body works according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This can also lead to additional physical symptoms, explains Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D., a neuropsychologist and director of Comprehend the Mind, based in New York City.

“For example, if you have chest pains, you may have so much stress and anxiety that you end up with stomach pains,” she says. “You’ll really feel the pain, but you won’t necessarily have a disease if one hasn’t been diagnosed.”

illness anxiety disorder

Illness anxiety disorder involves a persistent and excessive fear of becoming seriously ill, explains Dr. Hafeez, which can occur even when no physical symptoms are present. This is similar to what is commonly referred to as hypochondria. Experts note that Illness Anxiety Disorder is different from SSD in that the distress associated with it is not caused by physical symptoms, but rather by fear of the physical symptoms that might occur and by going to the worst-case scenarios about what those physical symptoms are symptoms could mean.

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conversion disorder

Also described in the DSM-5 A functional neurological symptom disorder, conversion disorder occurs when there is a single, unexplained symptom affecting voluntary or sensory functions (such as weakness or paralysis, abnormal movements, or difficulty swallowing). The DSM-5 provides an example of a tremor that the person believes is caused by a seizure disorder. But when the person is distracted, the shaking stops (which would not be the case for someone with a seizure disorder).

Experts point out that the person is usually unaware of how these symptoms appear in odd ways that don’t match well-known medical conditions.

Psychological factors affecting other disorders

That DSM-5 notes that this condition is more common than SSD and defines it as suffering over physical symptoms that have a confirmed or suspected diagnosis. This can actually harm the patient, who may delay treatment or a diagnosis due to their increased anxiety about what the medical condition means for their life.

Actual disruption

That DSM-5 categorizes a man-made disorder as a person who falsifies physical symptoms or a medical diagnosis even in the absence of obvious, external rewards. There is an intent to deceive as they appear to others as sick or injured. Often they do this to gain attention or to get support from others, but the consequences can be serious, as they can go as far as inflicting pain or suffering on themselves in order to get such attention and support.

Other specific somatic symptoms and related disorders

This category is used when a person does not meet the criteria in the DSM-5 for any of the above diagnoses. In addition, it can also mean that the above symptoms only appear for a short time, e.g. B. an SSD for six months or less, with a subsequent dissolution.

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