The term somatization, which is used for situations that are not explained by any physical illness but have physical complaints, is encountered as a topic that is on the agenda of many mental health professionals today.
Studies on somatization started before the 20th century and today, it continues as a subject on which opinions are presented in the literature.
Pain, discomfort and complaints that are not explained by physical diseases have been associated with depressive disorders by various scientific circles and especially by mental health experts, and this has laid the groundwork for many studies on this relationship (Kesebir, 2004).
As for the relationship between depression and somatization, three different views emerged at the end of the studies.
The first view is that somatization, that is, complaints that cannot be explained by any disease, is an equivalent of depression (Clarke DM, 2000).
Despite the view put forward as an equivalent of depression, according to the data obtained as a result of many studies, no clear evidence has been reached that the picture defined as somatization disorder or pain disorder is exactly the equivalent of depression. However, towards the end of the 1970s, a second opinion was encountered based on a concept called “masked depression” by prominent authors in the literature (Köroğlu, 1998). According to this view, it is stated that the process defined as somatization is a specific form of depression and anxiety.
The concept of masked depression, on the other hand, has found its place in the literature as a concept expressed for the picture of depression, which stands out with pain and certain somatic-physical-complaints.
Along with the aforementioned second view, a third view finds its place in the literature. The third opinion expressed about depression and somatization is that somatization is a symptom of depression and emphasizes that somatic symptoms should be among the indicators of depression. Although somatic symptoms were included among the symptoms of depression in the ICD-10 known as the International Classification of Diseases with this view, these symptoms later found their place as additional items (World Health Organization, 1992).
In the DSM-IV, which is known as the handbook of mental health professionals and written by the American Psychiatric Association, somatic symptoms were not included as a symptom on their own, but were included as additional symptoms that may be in question.
In recent years, studies on depression and somatic complaints have yielded positive findings about somatic processes in depressive disorders (Köroğlu, 1998). Studies have shown that individuals with depression express more somatic complaints when compared to individuals without depression.
All this information once again reveals the importance of performing psychological examinations in addition to physiological examinations in somatic complaints. Despite the absence of a physiological finding, the importance of evaluation by mental health specialists in ongoing somatic complaints and complaints about pain has been strengthened by studies.