Somatoform Disorders

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Somatoform Disorders:

Somatoform Disorders Sheila Lechado , RN



Somatoform disorders :

Somatoform disorders Characterized by complaints of physical symptoms that cannot be explained by known physical mechanisms These disorders have in common the belief that physical symptoms are real despite evidence to the contrary. The affected individual experiences changes or loss in physical function.

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The physical symptoms are not under the individual's voluntary control Significant impairment occurs in social or occupational functioning



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Somatization disorder Undifferentiated somatoform disorder Conversion disorder Pain disorder Hypochondriasis Body dysmorphic disorder Somatoform disorder not otherwise specified

Diagnostic Evaluation:

Diagnostic Evaluation

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Individuals with somatoform disorders will present in the medical rather than the psychiatric setting because of their belief that the problems are medical The individual should receive a thorough medical evaluation if possible, avoiding repeating tests that have already had negative results

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The diagnosis of somatoform disorder will be made after a thorough medical evaluation in which no organic basis for the symptoms is validated



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Level and setting of care to be provided is determined In general, the individual will be treated on an outpatient basis, unless underlying mood disorder is present leading to risk for self-harm Referral to psychiatric treatment is generally rejected by the individual with a somatoform disorder

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GOAL: To maintain a long-term relationship with a specific health care provider to prevent patient from seeking multiple providers with multiple recommendations for testing, treatments, and drugs


Psychotherapy Psychodynamic assist the individual to express conflicts and emotions verbally rather than displacing them onto physical symptoms. Behavioral establish a program whereby adaptive behavior is reinforced and illness behaviors do not receive secondary gains.


Psychotherapy Cognitive restructure belief system that perpetuates illness-related behaviors . Family therapy assist family members to define appropriate boundaries and support patient in increasing self-responsibility.

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Somatic therapies Somatoform disorders are usually not treated with psychopharmacologic drugs because these patients are susceptible to dependency on drugs used.

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Mood disorders, especially depression, are a common comorbid problem in individuals with somatoform disorders Antidepressant drugs may be used to treat the mood disorder.

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Thank You!

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