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(SD; Briquet’s Syndrome)
- Family history of somatization disorder
- History of psychological trauma or early experiences with physical illness, hospitalization and medical treatment
- Lower social class with little education
- Individuals who may be extremely emotional (also known histrionic)
- Individuals with antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse disorders, anxiety, depression, or panic disorders
- Individuals who are unable to express their emotional distress through language (due to neurological disorders or intellectual disability), or in cultures that discourage the communication of emotional distress
- Pain symptoms in any part of the body, such as back, joints chest, or head
- Gastrointestinal symptoms other than pain, such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea
- Sexual symptoms other than pain, such as erectile difficulty, irregular menstrual periods, or excessive menstrual bleeding
Neurological symptoms, such as:
- Being off-balance
- Trouble swallowing
- Loss of voice
- Inability to control the need to urinate
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Loss of touch
- Unable to feel pain
- Temporary blindness or deafness
Nervous System An emotional event may trigger physical symptoms, sometimes through peripheral nerves (yellow). Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
- Complain about these symptoms in a very dramatic way, yet describe the symptoms in very vague or unclear terms
- Visit more than one doctor for diagnosis and treatment for the same symptoms
- Have test results that do not confirm any medical illness to explain their symptoms
- Psychotherapy—Talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or licensed counselor to figure out ways to deals with stressful or painful issues.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy—A mental health professional will work with you to focus on practical ways to cope with symptoms.
- Medications—If you have another disorder, such as depression or anxiety, it may be treated with medications.
- Seek treatment for any related emotional disorders
- Find healthy ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life, such as exercise.
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org
Psychiatry.org - American Psychiatric Association http://www.psychiatry.org
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Mental Health Canada http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com
LaFrance WC, Jr. Somatoform disorders. Sem Neurol. 2009;29:234-246.
Servan-Schreiber D, Kolb NR, et al. Somatizing patients: part I. Practical diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(4):1073-1078.
Somatization disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 1, 2012. Accessed July 22, 2013.
Somatization disorder. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric%5Fdisorders/somatoform%5Fand%5Ffactitious%5Fdisorders/somatization%5Fdisorder.html. Updated February 2012. Accessed July 22, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 00/52/2014