The somatoform disorders are a group of disorders that include physical symptoms (for example, pain, nausea and dizziness)for which an adequate medical explanation cannot be found. The somatic symptoms and complaints are serious enough to cause the patient significant emotional distress or impairment in the patient’s ability to function in social and occupational roles.
A diagnosis of somatoform disorder reflects the clinician’s assessment that psychological factors are a large contributor to the symptom’s onset, severity and duration. Somatoform disorders are not the result of conscious malingering or factitious disorders. The essential feature of a somatization disorder is a pattern of many of physical complaints beginning in persons younger than 30 years that occur over several years and result in unnecessary medical treatment and/or cause significant impairment in functioning.
The somatic symptoms are not intentionally produced. Doctor hopping, a persistent request for medical investigations and treatment despite repeated assurances by the treating doctors causes utter frustration in the person with regard to the medical services and as well as the future of his/her physical health. Inability to accept the psychological cause behind it and frequently changes of doctorsmakes the treatment more difficult. Accepting psychological cause for existing physical problem seems to be undermining the intensity of their sufferings and hurts their sense of self worth. Professional help is necessary to develop the insight and treating the underlying cause(example: anxiety, depression or any conflicts).