Causes and Risk Factors
When it comes to the causes of somatic symptom disorder, it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly. There are many causes to be considered. There are biological factors, such as hormone levels, gender, nutrition as well as any genetic influences. When considering gender, it has been found that women seem to be affected more than men.
The family history can also play a role, as mentioned it could be linked to a genetic factor. The family environment is something else to take into consideration and could play a part in the development of the disorder. Having a negative outlook on life can influence the way you look at the world around you. A negative outlook on your health and how you view illness and symptoms can be a major contributing factor.
Some people may find it difficult to process emotions or find stressful situations difficult to handle. Physical symptoms can manifest themselves and become a focal point, instead of dealing with managing the stress and emotional issues. Another cause could be associated with learned behaviour. What benefits or attention does an illness produce? If you’re sick you can’t do certain things, or you get a lot more attention because of your illness. For example, avoiding regular exercise could be seen as a benefit, but ultimately just leads to other health issues.
There are also several risk factors associated with somatic symptom disorder.
These risk factors include some of the following:
- Something that could cause a problem, if a person is suffering from a current health condition. Also, if a person is recovering from a health issue.
- There is a risk for those who suffer from anxiety or depression
- Those that have a family history of a certain disease
- People who have experienced trauma or are under a lot of stress
- Those who have suffered some kind of childhood trauma
- In some cases, there is a risk for those in lower socio-economic situations or those who haven’t had access to proper education.
Complications that may occur
As with many health issues and problems, there could be complications that develop. Circumstances and other issues can be contributing factors associated with the development of somatic symptom disorder. A person who has general poor health is more likely to develop other problems, including somatic disorder. This can also include those who struggle with physical disabilities and feel frustrated with their bodies.
Some other complications that may be associated with somatic symptom disorder include:
- Stressful situations, such as unemployment or difficult working environments
- If there are major financial problems, which is made worse by frequent doctor’s visits
- There might be complications and negative reactions to medications or treatments provided
- A person who has an existing mental health disorder, this can include depression, anxiety as well as other personality disorders.
- There is an increased chance of suicide