(SD; Briquet’s Syndrome)
- Genetics—It may run in your family.
- Psychosocial—It may be due to a combination of factors that include your mental and emotional well-being and your environment or situation.
- Lower social class with little education
- Sex—The disorder is more common in American women. Its incidence also varies within different cultures.
- Personality factors—Individuals are more likely to develop this disorder if they tend to act in a way that is extremely emotional (also known histrionic)
- Individuals with antisocial personality disorder , substance abuse disorders, anxiety , depression , or panic disorders
- May occur more frequently in individuals who are unable to express their emotional distress through language (due to neurological disorders or intellectual disability ), or in cultures that discourage the communication of emotional distress
Pain symptoms—these include pain experienced in any part of the body including:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pain in arms or legs
- Pain in vagina or penis during sexual intercourse
- Pain during urination
Gastrointestinal symptoms—these include any problem, other than pain, in the stomach or intestines, including:
Sexual symptoms—these include any problem, other than pain, in the sexual or reproduction system, including:
- Inability to sustain an erection (men)
- Irregular periods (women)
- Excessive menstrual bleeding (women)
Neurological symptoms—these include:
- Being off-balance
- Trouble swallowing
- Loss of voice
- Inability to control the need to urinate
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Loss of touch
- Unable to feel pain
- Amnesia (loss of memory)
- Temporary blindness
- Temporary deafness
Nervous System An emotional event may trigger physical symptoms, sometimes through peripheral nerves (yellow). Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
- Complain about these symptoms in a very dramatic way, yet describe the symptoms in very vague or unclear terms
- Visit more than one doctor for diagnosis and treatment for the same symptoms
- Have test results that do not confirm any medical illness to explain their symptoms
- Psychotherapy—Talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or licensed counselor to figure out ways to deals with stressful or painful issues.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy —A mental health professional will work with you to focus on practical ways to cope with symptoms.
- Medications—Sometimes, an antidepressant (a medication that relieves depression) is recommended. If anxiety is present, a medication that relieves anxiety may be prescribed.
- Reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- Continue to be aware of your psychological or emotional health.
- Maintain an open and good relationship with your primary care doctor or healthcare provider.
American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org/
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org/
Mental Health Canada http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/
Eisendrath SJ. Somatization disorder. In: Ferri F. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment . 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2006.
LaFrance WC, Jr. Somatoform disorders. Sem Neurol. 2009;29:234-46.
Servan-Schreiber D, Kolb NR, Tabas G. Somatizing patients: part I. Practical diagnosis. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000215/1073.html . Published February 15, 2000. Accessed October 12, 2012.
Somatization disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated September 1, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2012.
- Reviewer: Lukas Rimas, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 03/27/2013 -