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Somatic symptom disorder
Somatic symptom disorder, previously known as somatization disorder, is a mental health disorder characterized by multiple unexplained complaints.
Somatic symptom disorder is a somatoform disorder that overlaps with a number of functional somatic syndromes and has high comorbidity with major depression and anxiety disorders.
In the US, the prevalence of somatic symptom disorder is estimated at 6,000 per 100,000 population.
Symptoms include bodily complaints, such as pain in different locations of the body, from fatigue, or from perceived disturbances of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or other organ functions.
Prognosis and risk of recurrence
Somatic symptom disorder causes long-term disability in several patients, affecting QoL and work participation.
The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of somatic symptom disorder are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP 2016).
1.Screening and diagnosis
Screening instruments: consider using the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 or the Somatic Symptom Scale-8 to assess patients with suspected somatic symptom disorder.
Consider using the following agents as first-line pharmacolic treatment for somatic symptom disorder:
st. John's wort
Avoid the use of other antidepressants (MAOIs, bupropion, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics) for the treatment of somatic symptom disorder.
Psychotherapy: consider offering CBT and mindfulness-based therapy for the treatment of somatic symptom disorder.