People suffering from a somatoform disorder have a mental illness that causes bodily symptoms that cannot be traced back to a physical cause. One such symptom is pain. While the symptoms cannot be traced to a physical cause, they are still very real. These symptoms can make it difficult or impossible to function on a daily basis. Fortunately, disability benefits may be available to help alleviate some of the financial burden that a somatoform disorder may impose on its victims.

6 Types of Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders can vary greatly among patients. The following are six of the most common types of this condition:

  1. Somatization disorder, or Briquet’s syndrome. People who suffer from this type of somatoform disorder typically have a long history of medical problems that starts before the age of 30. Victims often experience pain, neurological problems, gastrointestinal problems, and sexual dysfunction. Somatization disorder is also often accompanied by an anxiety disorder.
  2. Undifferentiated somatoform disorder. To be diagnosed with this type of somatization disorder, a patient must have one or more physical complaints of unexplained symptoms for at least a six month time period.
  3. Hypochondriasis. This type of somatoform disorder involves a preoccupation with a concern that a person has a serious disease. For example, they may believe that a small bump on the leg is actually a cancerous tumor.
  4. Body dysmorphic disorder. This type of somatoform disorder involves an obsession with a perceived physical flaw.
  5. Conversion disorder. If a patient has neurological symptoms such as paralysis, blindness, hearing loss, or loss of sensation or numbness, and these symptoms cannot be traced to a medical cause, he or she may have a conversion disorder.
  6. Pain disorder. People suffering from this type of somatoform disorder experience pain that often started with a psychological stress or trauma. People with this condition may seek frequent medical care, become socially isolated, and have difficulty functioning in both their professional and personal lives.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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