Somatic symptom disorder

What are somatic symptoms?

Somatic symptoms are defined as medically unexplained bodily sensations or basic physical dysfunctions (for example, appetite, digestion, or sleep) that an individual perceives as worrisome or unpleasant. They may be localised to a particular bodily region, or generalised, as in the case of excessive fatigue or loss of energy. Symptoms are not intentionally produced or feigned.

For a diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder, the extent to which a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviours about their somatic symptoms must be distressing, excessive, or disproportionate, and persist for more than six months.

What is the evidence for somatic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence suggests a small, increased risk of more somatic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder than in the general population or in people with other psychiatric disorders, apart from people with depression who report similar rates of somatic symptoms.

April 2021

Last updated at: 4:35 am, 28th April 2021
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