The common feature of the Somatoform Disorders is the presence of physical symptoms that suggest a general medical condition (hence, the term somatoform) and are not fully explained by a general medical condition, by the direct effects of a substance, or by another mental disorder (e.g., Panic Disorder). The symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. In contrast to Factitious Disorders and Malingering, the physical symptoms are not intentional (i.e., under voluntary control). Somatoform Disorders differ from Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition in that there is no diagnosable general medical condition to fully account for the physical symptoms. The grouping of these disorders in a single section is based on clinical utility (i.e., the need to exclude occult general medical conditions or substance-induced etiologies for the bodily symptoms) rather than on assumptions regarding shared etiology or mechanism. These disorders are often encountered in general medical settings.
The following Somatoform Disorders are included in this section:
Somatization Disorder (historically referred to as hysteria or Briquet’s syndrome) is a polysymptomatic disorder that begins before age 30 years, extends over a period of years, and is characterized by a combination of pain, gastrointestinal, sexual, and pseudoneurological symptoms.
Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder is characterized by unexplained physical complaints, lasting at least 6 months, that are below the threshold for a diagnosis of Somatization Disorder.
Conversion Disorder involves unexplained symptoms or deficits affecting voluntary motor or sensory function that suggest a neurological or other general medical condition. Psychological factors are judged to be associated with the symptoms or deficits.
Pain Disorder is characterized by pain as the predominant focus of clinical attention. In addition, psychological factors are judged to have an important role in its onset, severity, exacerbation, or maintenance.
Hypochondriasis is the preoccupation with the fear of having, or the idea that one has, a serious disease based on the person’s misinterpretation of bodily symptoms or bodily functions.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is the preoccupation with an imagined or exaggerated defect in physical appearance.
Somatoform Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is included for coding disorders with somatoform symptoms that do not meet the criteria for any of the specific Somatoform Disorders.