What are the types of somatic symptom and related disorders?
Somatization disorder usually involves pain and severe neurological symptoms (such as headache, fatigue), digestive symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea) or sexual symtpoms (such as pain during sexual activity, loss of sexual desire, extremely painful periods in women).
Hypochondriasis occurs when a person believes that normal body functions (such as a grumbling stomach) or minor symptoms (such as a common headache) are symptoms of a very serious disorder. To a person who has hypochondriasis, a grumbling stomach may mean stomach cancer or a headache may mean a brain tumor.
Body dysmorphic disorder occurs when a person becomes obsessed with a flaw in his or her physical appearance that is either a minor flaw or a flaw that doesn't exist. He or she constantly worries about the perceived flaw, which can be any part of the body. Wrinkles, hair loss, weight gain, and size and shape of feature like the eyes, nose and breasts are all common concerns for people who have body dysmorhpic disorder.
Conversion disorder is when physical symptoms that are similar to a neurological disorder develop, when no neurological disorder is actually present. Paralysis of an arm or leg, vision loss, hearing loss and seizures are common symptoms. Stress may make the symptoms worse.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff