When physical complaints have psychological causes
Intuitively, most people associate physical complaints with physical causes. Somatization disorder (or somatic symptom disorder – SSD) is different. It belongs to the group of somatoform disorders, which are characterized by the fact that those affected suffer from pain or functional disorders, but there is no organic cause. Many sufferers have gone through a long period of suffering, usually with numerous visits to the doctor, without a physical cause for the symptoms being found. The everyday life of those affected is also often severely impaired. With holistic treatment based on psychotherapeutic approaches, the clinical picture can be accurately diagnosed and effectively treated.
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Somatization disorder is manifested by physical complaints that are manifested by a variety of symptoms and are associated with thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Affected individuals often suffer from somatic complaints before the age of 30. The extent and severity of symptoms can vary from individual to individual, but they rarely disappear for an extended period of time. The most common somatization disorders include:
The following risk factors may be involved in the development and maintenance of somatization disorder:
A clear cause for the development of somatization disorders has not yet been identified. It is assumed that biological, psychological, social and genetic factors interact in the development. The development of somatization disorders can have many triggers. Often they are psychosocial factors, such as repressed conflicts and events, a permanent stress load, but also traumatic life events can be the cause. In some somatization disorders, it is assumed that the increased sensitivity to pain is related to an altered pain processing in the central nervous system.