Somatic Symptom Disorders
People pursue counseling and therapy for a variety of reasons at Morgan Health Centers,
our services cover a wide spectrum of issues and conditions, from minor to complex, both recently developed and long-standing.
Formerly referred to under the heading of somatoform disorders, this category is now known as somatic symptoms and related disorders. Somatic symptom disorders are a class of psychological disorders that involve prominent physical symptoms that may not have a diagnosable physical cause.
In contrast to previous ways of conceptualizing these disorders based on the absence of a medical explanation for the physical symptoms, the current diagnosis emphasizes the abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that occur in response to these symptoms.
Disorders included in this category:
Somatic Symptom Disorder – Somatic symptom disorder involves a preoccupation with physical symptoms that make it difficult to function normally. This preoccupation with symptoms results in emotional distress and difficulty coping with daily life.
It is important to note that somatic symptoms do not indicate that individuals are faking their physical pain, fatigue, or other symptoms. In this situation, it is not so much the actual physical symptoms that are disrupting the individual’s life as it is the extreme reaction and resulting behaviors.
Illness Anxiety Disorder – Illness anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive concern about having an undiagnosed medical condition. Those who experience this psychological disorder worry excessively about body functions and sensations are convinced that they have or will get a serious disease, and are not reassured when medical tests come back negative.
This preoccupation with illness causes significant anxiety and distress. It also leads to changes in behavior such as seeking medical testing/treatments and avoiding situations that might pose a health risk.
Conversion Disorder – Conversion disorder involves experiencing motor or sensory symptoms that lack a compatible neurological or medical explanation. In many cases, the disorder follows a real physical injury or stressful even which then results in a psychological and emotional response.
Factitious Disorder – Factitious disorder used to have its own category, is now included under the somatic symptom and related disorders category. A factitious disorder is when an individual intentionally creates, fakes, or exaggerates symptoms of illness. Munchausen syndrome, in which people feign an illness to attract attention, is one severe form of factitious disorder.
Evaluations for Somatic Symptom Disorders
Morgan Health Centers offers comprehensive evaluation of neurodevelopmental disorders, including Bipolar & Related disorder evaluations for children, adolescents/teens and adults.
Recommendations are individualized and inform treatment planning. Assessment involves a clinical interview and cognitive and personality/emotional testing and results in a comprehensive report that meets industry standards for test measures, diagnosis, and academic accommodations.