Somatic Symptom Disorder/SSD

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The old name was somatoform disorder. It continues to appear as part of the DSM system including in the most recent version which is the DSM-V.

The patient must have at least a 6-month history of recurring somatic complaints that are not due to malingering or factitious disorder.

Wikipedia states: “The diagnosis requires physical symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury – symptoms that cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition or by the direct effect of a substance, and are not attributable to another mental disorder (e.g., panic disorder). In people who have been diagnosed with a somatic symptom disorder, medical test results are either normal or do not explain the person's symptoms, and history and physical examination do not indicate the presence of a known medical condition that could cause them, though it is important to note that the DSM-5 cautions that this alone is not sufficient for diagnosis. The patient must also be excessively worried about their symptoms, and this worry must be judged to be out of proportion to the severity of the physical complaints themselves.” For the Wikipedia article see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_symptom_disorder.

Symptoms often include anxiety and depression. ("Multisomatoform disorder. An alternative to undifferentiated somatoform disorder for the somatizing patient in primary care". Kroenke K; Spitzer RL; deGruy FV; et al. (1997). Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 54 (4): 352–8.) This is a controversial disorder. It is said to have the following subtypes: Conversion disorder, Illness anxiety disorder, Body dysmorphic disorder, Pain disorder, Undifferentiated somatic symptom disorder and Somatoform disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS).

[Author’s comment: The primary mechanisms for these subtypes are probably sufficiently different from each other that it would be wise to abandon the diagnosis of SSM. It is too broad and it likely covers a number of separate (but overlapping) diseases. Part of the problem is that psychiatry has difficulty distinguishing them. I suspect that there are people who are primarily fibromyalgia patients that occasionally get misdiagnosed with SSD because they have multiple symptoms and a hysterical aspect to their illness.]