Symptoms of Somatic Symptom Disorder
In the case of a person having an existing medical condition, the symptoms can be described as being worse than what they normally are. In other cases, the symptoms can manifest without there being any obvious medical problem. One of the main symptoms experienced by many of those suffering from the disorder is pain. The pain can be felt in many areas of the body including the chest, stomach, arms, legs and joints.
More symptoms can include:
- Headaches, dizziness or feelings of general weakness
- Digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Symptoms can be mild to severe and can often include more than one
- Many also often experience anxiety and depression
As mentioned, the thoughts and feelings of those suffering from Somatic Symptom Disorder can be overwhelming.
Some behaviours and thoughts can include:
- Constantly thinking and worrying over the symptoms
- Taking a normal bodily sensation and seeing it as something more serious
- Thinking that the symptoms are serious, even after doctors cannot find anything wrong.
- The person may feel that the doctors haven’t done enough to discover the problem.
- Checking and re-checking your body for anything wrong
- Repeatedly visiting doctors without getting any results or satisfaction. Visits may even be making the problem worse, due to continuing frustration, stress and worry.
- Exhibiting severe symptoms for a medical problem that isn’t normally that bad.
If a medical practitioner suspects a somatic symptom disorder, they would usually be looking at how a person reacts to the symptoms and not really at the physical symptoms. The purpose of this is to find out how much the symptoms are affecting a person’s daily life and if steps need to be taken further for treatment.
Somatic symptom disorder can also fall under Adolescent mental health disorders. Adolescents may end up seeing several different medical practitioners, having many different tests done. In the end, oftentimes, there are no conclusive results. Just remember, the symptoms remain very real to the person suffering from them. This can be very distressing and may lead to significant effects, which can lead to difficulties arising in the person’s day to day life.