People with this disorder have many physical complaints that last for years. Most often, the complaints involve chronic pain and problems with the digestive system, nervous system, and reproductive system.
The symptoms often interfere with work and relationships, and lead to many visits to different health care providers.
Stress often worsens the symptoms.
Some of the many symptoms that can occur with somatization disorder include:
A thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests are performed to identify physical causes. The types of tests that are done depend on what symptoms you have.
A psychological evaluation is performed to identify related disorders.
If, after you have a thorough evaluation, no physical cause is found to explain the symptoms, somatization disorder may be diagnosed.
Greenberg DB, Braun IM, Cassem NH. Functional somatic symptoms and somatoform disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 24.
WitthÃ¶ft M, Hiller W. Psychological approaches to origins and treatments of somatoform disorders. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2010;6:257-283.
deGruy FV. The somatic patient. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 61.
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