What are Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders?

Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders (SSRDs) are a group of mental health conditions that involve physical symptoms that cause distress and impairment in daily functioning, even though there may be no underlying medical condition or explanation for the symptoms. These disorders are characterized by excessive or disproportionate thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the symptoms. SSRDs used to be referred to as somatoform disorders but were renamed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

SSRDs include:

Somatic Symptom Disorder: A disorder in which a person has one or more somatic symptoms that are distressing and/or disruptive to daily life, and excessive thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to the symptoms. The symptoms may or may not be medically explainable.

Illness Anxiety Disorder: A disorder in which a person has persistent and excessive worry about having or developing a serious illness, despite little or no symptoms, and may frequently seek medical attention.

Conversion Disorder: A disorder in which a person experiences neurological symptoms such as paralysis, seizures, or difficulty speaking or seeing, which cannot be explained by medical or neurological conditions.

Factitious Disorder: A disorder in which a person deliberately and consciously fabricates or exaggerates physical or psychological symptoms to assume the sick role and receive attention or care.

Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition: A disorder in which psychological factors contribute to the exacerbation or maintenance of a medical condition.

It’s important to note that individuals with SSRDs are not “faking” their symptoms, and their distress is real. These disorders often require a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, involving both psychological and medical interventions.

Shervan K Shahhian

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s