What are they – Somatic Symptom Disorders

Somatization disorder: the individual may complain of headaches, backaches, joint pain or gastrointestinal, sexual and neurological symptoms.

Undifferentiated Somatic Symptom Disorder is similar to Somatization disorder, but differs for a lesser number of physical complaints (usually one), lighter symptoms and shorter duration.

Pain Disorder is characterised by intense chronic pain localized in one or more parts of the body, so severe it often induces impairment in the patient’s personal and professional life. Often the subject becomes addicted to pain killers or tranquillisers.

Hypochondria manifests itself in the form of an obsessive preoccupation about having a serious illness, which remains unmitigated by a doctor’s expert opinion that the patient is fine. Typically, patients spend a lot of time seeking confirmation of their fears and theories about the illness, sometimes spending large amounts of money in specialist consultations, but generally do not seek the help of mental-health specialists.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder becomes manifest when the person affected is overly concerned with body image and manifests an excessive preoccupation about a perceived defect in their physical appearance, quite often on their face, leading them to spend abnormal periods of time in front of the mirror.