WHAT IS SOMATIC SYMPTOM DISORDER?
Somatic symptom disorder patients usually have physically uncomfortable symptoms that are extremely upsetting. It is a disease of the mind. Individuals with Somatic Symptoms Disorder may report symptoms that may have no medical explanation or may be normal body sensations or discomfort. Even at time when their reported symptoms do have a medical cause, they tend to worry at levels which are extremely out of proportion to the symptoms.
At any age, the Disorder can manifest. It is common for it to begin around age 30, although it can also be diagnosed in children and teens. 5- 7 % of the adult population tend to have this disorder which shows that though not extremely common, it is also not a rare disorder and has a somewhat common occurrence.
IS THERE A CAUSE??
People who have somatic symptom disorder frequently interpret physical discomfort as a medical issue that requires attention. Their increased sensitivity to different physiological sensations is what causes the illness. Although they have not yet found a clear cause, researchers have done investigations to identify the numerous elements that may have contributed to the disorder’s development. The research looked at risk factors such a chaotic lifestyle, a history of alcohol and drug use, sexual abuse as a kid, and neglect as an adult.
HARDSHIPS THAT COME WITH IT
Those with Somatic Symptom Disorder have a hard time as their worry tends to affect their daily life functioning. The lack of a medical reason in identifying the cause of their distress adds further to them feeling that way. People with the disease could have a difficult time trusting medical professionals and may feel acute perplexity, which can lead them to seek treatment from many medical professionals in an effort to find a reason for their symptoms.
There are other disorders too that one may confuse while diagnosing someone with somatic symptom disorder. They are- Illness Anxiety Disorder, Conversion Disorder and Factitious Disorder. Hypochondria, a disorder where people are worried with having or being sick, was the previous name for Illness Anxiety Disorder. They tend to constantly worry about their health and think of the worst case the moment they feel anything is even slightly wrong.
However unlike those with somatic symptom disorder, those with Illness Anxiety Disorder do not generally experience symptoms. There is no medical cause for the symptoms of conversion disorder, also known as functional neurological symptom disorder, which impacts a person’s perception, feeling, and movement. Finally there is the Factitious Disorder wherein people may create an illness or injury in another person or in themselves
The treatment procedure for Somatic Symptom Disorder includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In addition to these , relaxation therapies , yoga and exercising too playa huge role in managing the symptoms.
People who have somatic symptom disorder frequently suffer pain without a clear explanation from an underlying medical disease. Even when a medical ailment is present as an underlying cause, the person’s symptoms are usually exaggerated. Individuals with somatic symptom disorder tend to worry excessively about the most minor issues.