Somatic Symptom Disorder

Traci Speed, M.D., Ph.D., Glenn Treisman, M.D., Ph.D.


  • A chronic mental disorder with persistent somatic symptom(s) associated with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are disproportionate to the somatic symptoms
  • Somatic Symptom Disorder is classified under the Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).[1]
  • This is a new disorder in DSM-5 that attempts to combine heterogeneous conditions, including the former somatization disorder, hypochondriasis, chronic pain conditions, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder[1].
    • Hypochondriasis: disease preoccupation disproportionate to pathology which endures despite medical reassurance
    • Somatization: experience or complaint of physical symptoms because of some other psychological distress (due to a disease, personality vulnerabilities, a drive, and/or life events)
    • Briquet’s syndrome: life-long multisystem somatic complaints associated with a constellation of vulnerabilities, including temperament, sex, socioeconomic, status and intelligence; it was linked with the now-banned term “hysteria”

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Last updated: May 2, 2017