Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is a mental illness in which the patient exhibits physical symptoms, a process referred to as somatization, such as pain, fatigue, among other bodily sensations, as well as excessive thoughts, feelings, and actions worrying about the symptoms. The individual may not necessarily have a mental disorder, but if there is one, they respond to it excessively. Patients with SSD have deep thoughts and feelings in response to their symptoms.
Risk Factors and Causes Of Somatic Symptom Disorder
Unfortunately, the exact cause of somatic symptom disorder is not entirely clear. A number of factors, however, play a role in this condition, including genetic factors such as a family history of SSD, heightened sensitivity to pain or other sensations, a negative personality, and learned behavior regarding the benefits gained from being ill (e.g., not having to do much activity or someone bringing food). Risk factors for SSD include suffering from a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, recovering from a medical condition or being at risk of developing one (e.g., a family history of cancer), high periods of stress, or experiencing significant trauma (in childhood or the present).