SOMATIC SYMPTOM DISORDERS
Somatic Symptom Disorders focus on physical symptoms that results in major distress and problems functioning.
People with Somatic Symptom Disorder typically go to a primary care provider rather than psychiatrist or other mental health professional. They may be experiencing distressing physical symptoms, but their thoughts, emotions and behavior may be excessive or abnormal. It is the way the somatic symptoms are interpreted, not the actual symptoms themselves, that is the distinguishing feature. For example, a person with this disorder may be fearful and worried even after they are shown evidence that the condition is serious.
Illness Anxiety Disorder is when a person is preoccupied with getting a serious illness. They may be excessively worried over health concerns and may even constantly check to see if they have an illness.
Conversion Disorder is when a person has a change in motor or sensory function, without confirmation from both neurological and medical testing. This may include paralysis, tremors, swallowing, speech, or seizure symptoms.
Factitious Disorder on Self or Another is when a person deceptively presents themselves or their proxy to others as ill, impaired, or injured, and shows signs of psychological or physical symptoms.
Somatic Symptom Disorders are complex phenomena and require a multi-disciplinary treatment approach which includes medical and psychiatric clinicians (APA, 2013).
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