Somatoform disorders can also be referred to as briquet’s syndrome, traditionally is known as hysteria.

Somatoform disorder is a mental disorder characterized by physical symptoms that mimic physical disease or injury for which there is no identifiable physical cause.

They are disorders that manifest themselves with bodily Symptoms.

What are the types of somatoform disorders?

The types of somatoform disorders are:

Somatization disorder

Somatization disorder is characterized by many physical complains affecting many organ systems

Somatic symptoms cannot be explained by physical examination or laboratory investigations. It usually begins before age 30 and continues for many years.
It is chronic and associated with psychological stress

There is impairment in social and occupational functioning and excessive medical help-seeking behavior

Symptoms of somatization disorder.

Many somatic complains and a long complicated medical history such as nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, pain in the arms and legs and shortness of breath.
Neurological symptoms include impaired coordination and balance, paralysis, localized weakness

The patient is often sickly in most of their life
Depression is the most prevalent psychiatric conditions among these patients
Suicidal threats are common but actual ones are rare.


Single identity physician

Physical examination should be done for each visit to respond to each somatic syndrome
Do psychotherapy after confirmation to reduce the rate of hospitalization.
Another somatoform disorder is hypochondriasis.


Hypochondriasis is a pre-occupational feeling of having a serious disease based on person presentation or physical sensation such as peristalsis, coughs, heart rate, sweating anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Traits are frequently observed.
The age of onset is between 20-30 years

This condition is usually common in medical students in their first two years in medical school. This pre-occupation causes insignificant distress and impairment in social and occupational functioning.

The pre-occupation is persistent despite medical reassurance and laboratory investigation.

Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by false beliefs that a body part is a defect there is a subjective feeling of ugly appearance such as facial scars, spots on the skin, excessive facial hair and shape of eyes.


The person attempts to hide the perceived deformity.

History of repeated visits to plastic surgeons in an effort to correct the emerged deformity.
There is an avoidance of social places and occupational situations.
The age of onset is in the adolescent stage to 30 years.

Psychogenic pain

Psychogenic pain is a somatoform disorder that is characterized by symptoms of pain related to psychological factors.
The peak of onset is between 30-40 years
It is associated with depression, anxiety, and substance-dependent patients.

There is a preoccupation with pain without adequate physical findings.
The pain is persistently on one part of the body. The attention and sympathy given to the patient by significant others may sustain the pain.

Psychogenic pain doesn’t vary. It is constant.
It is not affected by emotional factors

This pain doesn’t respond to analgesics, sedatives or anxiolytics. It only responds to antidepressants

It begins abruptly and increases in severity for a few weeks.
It is chronic, distressful and completely disabling.

Management of somatoform disorders