Somatoform Disorder

Somatoform disorder is a pattern of multiple, recurring, and clinically significant somatic complaints. Individuals with somatoform disorder tend to describe their symptoms in colorful, exaggerated terms, but with factual information missing. The disorder is characterized by inconsistent histories, with multiple physicians and treatments. Anxiety and depression are also common in individuals with somatoform disorder; the condition tends to be chronic and dissociative, or conversion symptoms are prominent. The somatoform disorder most closely aligned with factitious disorder is somatization disorder, which is distinguished by an inordinate number of physical complaints. In contrast to factitious disorder, somatization is an unconscious expression of stress in which taking on the illness role is not a syntonic one; hence, serious anxiety and depression typically accompany this disorder.

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