Somatoform Disorders: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Last Update on August 5, 2022 : Published on August 6, 2022

Somatoform disorder

Have you ever met someone who is always preoccupied with thoughts of being critically ill? I (God knows for what reason) have been with so many people who believed that they have a clinical condition when their medical reports claim nothing.

Did you know almost 21% of the world population has been diagnosed with the somatoform disorder? There are so many people who don’t even know that they have somatoform disorder. They are simply stuck in a constant grind of visiting a doctor and not finding anything.

Somatoform disorder is more prevalent in young adults & middle-aged people but not so much in older adults. Knowing what a somatoform disorder is, is so important because most people assume it to be a physical help condition when it needs attention from psychiatrists and psychologists.

Today we will talk about the two most important aspects of somatoform disorder, the different types of somatoform disorder in detail, and the signs of somatoform disorder briefly. Shall we begin?

Define Somatoform Disorder

Somatoform disorder is a mental health condition that is disguised as a physical health condition. People who have developed somatoform disorder believe that they are suffering from some sort of medical condition and constantly seek consultancy from various doctors.

People with somatoform disorder will complain of having various aches and pains or might claim to experience symptoms of other physical illnesses like paralysis, cancer, etc. Their belief of suffering from an illness is so strong that in spite of the doctor explaining their clear reports to them doesn’t convince them.

People with somatoform disorder are often seen doctor hopping. They go from the second opinion to the third, fourth, fifth, and so on. They feel frustrated and irritated because they aren’t receiving any answers that they really want.

Also Read: Psychosomatic Illness: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment!

Symptoms Of Somatoform Disorder

Somatoform disorder is a condition that cannot be described by some physical or mental cause, therefore symptoms of the somatoform disorder might also be different from person to person. Some can experience a range of symptoms of the somatoform disorder and some might just show one symptom. The symptoms of somatoform disorder also vary in strength (mild to severe).

Let’s have a look at some common symptoms of the somatoform disorder;

  • Preoccupied with the worry of having an illness
  • Few normal bodily sensations as a symptom of some illness
  • Have a constant fear that these symptoms are life-threatening
  • Do not trust medical tests and doctors anymore
  • Keep visiting on doctor over the other
  • Explanations of symptoms are more severe than the actual expectation

Different Types Of Somatoform Disorder

There are various types of somatoform disorder. The somatoform disorder has to be divided into so many types only because of the diversity in the symptoms of somatoform disorder. Let’s quickly look at the different types of somatoform disorder;

1. Somatization disorder:

this is the most common type of somatoform disorder. Somatization disorder can be described as claiming to experience physiological symptoms of a physical illness. These claims cannot be accepted because according to their test results their body is perfectly healthy

2. Conversion disorder:

conversion disorder is a type of somatoform disorder that makes a person believe that they have a neurological condition like paralysis, hearing loss, etc even though they really don’t have any neurological condition. They simply mimic the symptoms of a neurological condition.

3. Pain disorder:

pain disorder is a type of somatoform disorder that makes people experience pain in various or just one part of the body with no known cause. Ex[erts say that pain disorder can be triggered by psychological stress. Such people often complain about having aches and pains especially when they find themselves in an emotionally difficult situation.

4. Hypochondriasis:

hypochondriasis is another type of somatoform disorder in which people misunderstand normal bodily sensations to be an indication of some serious medical condition. The slightest of bodily sensations give them anxiety because according to them there is some deadly illness living inside of them.

5. Other specified somatic symptom disorders:

in this type of somatoform disorder those people are diagnosed who have a brief experience of somatoform disorder such as; brief illness anxiety disorder or brief somatic symptom disorder.

6. Unspecified Somatic Symptoms:

in this type of somatoform disorder people are included who do not really experience symptoms of just one type of somatoform disorder. They experience mixed symptoms, inclusive of all other types.

That’s All For Today!

I hope you found this blog about the types of somatoform disorder and symptoms of somatoform disorder interesting and informative. Do keep the types of somatoform disorder in mind so that it’s easy for you to recognize them in your loved ones if they develop one.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur.

She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively.

Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’

Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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