This week, I will touch on one of the psychopathologies that are common in society and that we have observed to increase in prevalence with the stress caused by the pandemic period;
disease in the literature ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’Also called.
A diagnosis can be made if the person has constant thoughts that are unrelated or disproportionate to their bodily symptoms, these symptoms cause severe anxiety, spend too much time to relieve their anxiety, or concentrate all their attention on this issue.
The disorder characteristically begins at a young age and continues with a range of different physical symptoms. While taking the history of the patients, it is common for those who state that they have been sick frequently since the beginning and complain about some neurological symptoms.
Complaints of digestive system disorders such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting attacks, and swollen abdomen are more common. Complaints of menstrual irregularity are common among female patients.
Complaints of sexual dysfunctions or painful sexual intercourse may also accompany the complaints.
Due to the chronicity of the patients’ complaints, they are frequently hospitalized and even have unnecessary surgery.
Somatic Symptom Disorders are more common in women. According to studies, most of the women diagnosed with this disease have a history of sexual abuse in their childhood.
In fact, all the blows and damages inflicted on the child’s mental development in childhood cause many disorders in adulthood or the genetic predisposition to become functional.
Somatic complaints can also be seen in diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders or schizophrenia, but these diseases should be separated after good investigations.
If the distinctive symptoms cannot be determined well, unfortunately, wrong treatment may lead the patient to much more negative pictures.
In the treatment of the disease, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are generally applied together. The patient has overestimated thoughts that he or she has a significant physical illness. Only cognitive behavioral therapies can be effective in non-severe conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy generally works on constructing functional thoughts rather than negative automatic thoughts.
The content of thought is problematic with the patient’s consciousness and memory being intact. The patient listens to his/her own body and shows the behavior of following his biological clock excessively.
He pays attention to his bodily functions rather than to the normal life process.
This situation also leads to the additional disease of self-diagnosis by doing intensive research on the internet about health, which we call cyberchondria.
The stress caused by the pandemic period or the negativities caused by the period confronts us by causing the emergence of many underlying psychopathologies. Somatization Disorder is one of them.
In general, even if no symptoms are consistently present, if the symptomatology has been present for more than six months, it is time to see a specialist. Of course, these symptoms should be in the form of symptoms as I mentioned above, and they should negatively affect our daily life, social and individual functions.
I wish you a healthy and fruitful week, best regards…