The requirements that mental health specialists must take into account in making the diagnosis of somatization disorder are the following:

  1. Item or and physical traits that make the pain or will grow to essential difficulties in everyday life.
  2. Extreme ideas, beliefs or practices compared to physical signs or blended with care for form, as evidenced by one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Disproportionate and persistent thoughts about the severity of the symptoms themselves.
  • Persistently elevated the degree of anxiety about health or symptoms.
  • Excessive time and energy devoted to these symptoms or concern for health.
  1. Although some somatic symptom may not be continuously present, the symptomatic state is persistent (usually more than six months).

How does somatization disorder develop and what is its course?

In older people, somatic symptoms and concurrent medical conditions are common, so it is crucial to make the diagnosis an approach in criterion B.

Somatization disorder may be underdiagnosed in older adults, either because specific somatic symptoms (e.g., pain, fatigue) are considered part of healthy aging or because concern for the disease is considered "understandable" in the elderly. Older people, who generally have more medical illnesses and need more medication than younger people. Depression is also common in older people who have numerous somatic symptoms.

Somatization disorder in children

In children, the most common symptoms are the recurrent abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, and nausea. It is more frequent than a single sign predominates in children than in adults. Although young children may have somatic complaints, it is rare for them to worry about the "disease" per se before adolescence.

The response of parents to the symptoms is essential, as this can determine the level of distress associated. Parents can be decisive in the interpretation of signs, in the time they miss school and in seeking medical help.

As we have seen, somatization disorder is associated with a significant deterioration in health status and with other diseases such as depression or anxiety. In this sense, seeking psychological help is essential to improve the quality of life of these patients.

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