Somatism is a condition in which mental disturbances are reflected in an individual’s physical (somatic) ailments. Somatic symptom disorders display physical symptoms such as intense pain, excessive fatigue, abnormal nervousness and other such reactions in response to a real or fictitious illness. Although the illness itself may or may not be real, the physical symptoms such as pain are experienced as real pain.
For people with somatic symptom disorder and related disorders, their health concerns and accompanying symptoms become a significant focus of their life causing challenges in their daily functioning.
Usually indicated by pain and neurological symptoms such as headache, nervousness and fatigue
Usually indicated by overreacting to normal body sensations, believe minor symptoms to be symptomatic of serious illnesses
Usually indicated by an uncommon obsession regarding physical appearances such as hair loss, wrinkles, weight gain, and other normal occurrences
Usually indicated by physical symptoms develop even when there is no other disorders or ailments, such as paralysis, seizures, and other disorders
No specific causes have been identified for the appearance of somatic disorders and other related disorders, however it has been noticed in some cases that they tend to run in families. Other cases have shown complications with nerve signals that are supposed to send signals of pain, pleasure and other sensations.
There is no known cure for somatic symptom and related disorders. Medications may be prescribed for managing some of the symptoms, but in most cases they are difficult to treat. Learning to understand this disorder and trying to live with it may be the best that could be hoped for. Working with physicians and health care providers to manage symptoms can be effective.
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