Somatoform disorder
Somatoform Disorder

Somatoform Disorder: Definition, 5 Types, Symptoms, and Causes

Somatoform Disorder Definition

Somatoform disorder is a psychological disorder in a person characterized by a set of erratic physical complaints, but not visible during physical examination. The appearance of this disorder is usually caused by stress and a lot of thoughts.

People with somatoform disorders can experience a variety of symptoms, such as chest pain, back pain, fatigue, dizziness, or unwellness in certain parts of the body. However, after being examined by a doctor, no physical abnormalities were found.

To diagnose somatoform disorders, the doctor needs to make sure that the complaints expressed by the patient are completely not found the cause. Therefore, a complete and thorough examination still needs to be done.

Somatoform Disorder Types

There are several types of somatoform disorders, namely:

Somatization disorders.

The disease is characterized by the appearance of various complaints alternately, but all the results of the doctor’s examination are normal.


The sufferer believes that she has one specific diagnosis, such as believing that she has breast cancer, even though the test results are normal.

Dysmorphic disorder of the body.

Sufferers of this disease believe there are defective parts of his body, whereas no one else has the same perception.

Somatoform autonomic disorders.

The disease is characterized by the appearance of autonomic symptoms such as palpitations or cold sweats, with no apparent cause.

Somatoform pain disorders.

The disease has symptoms in the form of pain that cannot be explained the cause.

Somatoform Disorder Symptoms

Common symptoms of somatization disorder are:

  • Certain sensations, such as pain or shortness of breath, or common symptoms such as fatigue or weakness
  • Typically, these conditions are not related to medical causes, or are associated with medical conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, but are more significant than expected
  • One or more symptoms, or variations in symptoms may occur
  • Mild, moderate or severe symptoms will depend on your condition.

Excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors may include:

  • Have excessive anxiety over the possibility of disease
  • Considers normal body response as a sign of serious physical illness
  • Fear of the severity of medical symptoms, although there is no supporting evidence
  • Assume a reasonable physical response would threaten, harm, or cause problems.
  • Felt that medical evaluation and treatment were not enough
  • Fear that physical activity will damage your body
  • Repeatedly check for abnormalities in your body
  • Frequent medical visits, but do not relieve anxiety or even make it worse
  • Unresponsive to medical treatments or oversensitive to treatment side effects
  • Have a severe disorder than usually associated with a medical condition.

The initial and follow-up symptoms of the complaints experienced are closely related to unpleasant life events or conflicts in the patient’s life.

People with somatoform disorders usually show attention-seeking (histrionic) behavior, mainly because the patient is dissatisfied and does not manage to persuade the doctor to accept his or her thoughts that the complaint is a physical illness and requires further examination.

There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about a particular symptom, consult your doctor.

Somatoform Disorder Causes

The cause of somatoform disorder is not clearly known, but several factors are suspected to be the trigger. Here are some factors that may be the trigger for the somatic symptom disorder or somatoform disorder:

  • Genetic and biological factors, such as hypersensitivity to pain.
  • Family influences, can be genetic or can be due to environmental factors, or a combination of the two.
  • Negative personality traits, this condition can affect the way a person identifies and feels the disease and symptoms of the body.
  • Loss of consciousness or problems processing emotions, causing a focus on physical symptoms rather than emotional problems.
  • The behavior studied, efforts to get more attention and other benefits of the symptoms of the disease experienced, such as not having to do certain activities because it is considered to aggravate the symptoms.

Last Updated on April 13, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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