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Does somatic symptom disorder really exist?

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posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:50 AM
Source -

I caught this on Fox News in the small print headlines. In my opinion this goes hand in hand with gun control laws as they are looking to restrict gun permits due to mental issues.

The fifth edition of psychiatry’s official diagnostic manual, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), has gone to print with a new diagnosis included that could easily label millions of normal Americans as mentally ill.

“Somatic symptom disorder” is a new entity that the American Psychiatric Association would have us believe suddenly exists. To merit the diagnosis a person need only report a single physical symptom that he or she finds distressing or disruptive to daily life for at least six months, along with just one of the following being true:

a) The person has disproportionate, persistent thoughts about the seriousness of their symptoms.

b) The person reports or displays a persistently high level of anxiety about his or her health or symptoms.

c) The person is devoting excessive time and energy to his or her symptoms or health concerns.

Now I am not saying at all that I do not believe this is an actual condition, I just find it funny that they (American Psychiatric Association) choose to regognize this.

Mind you, studies by the American Psychiatric Association have already shown that 15 percent of folks with either cancer or heart disease would be diagnosed with this disorder, and 26 percent of those with irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia. What’s more, 7 percent of people who have no active medical diagnosis also could qualify.

Suddenly, being worried about your physical health in a way that a psychologist or psychiatrist or social worker considers “disproportionate” to your symptoms makes you mentally ill. Or, devoting yourself to treating your medical illness in a way that a psychiatric nurse practitioner considers “excessive” makes you mentally ill. Or, questioning your first and second opinions about a complicated or atyptical case of migraines or colitis or sinusitis makes you psychiatrically disordered.

Does that mean that any of us who have posted in the many Liposomal Vitamic C, Better Health methods, or any other health thread are going to be labelled as having SSD?

Let me know what ya'll think, sorry if I could have picked a better forum.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by bonsaihorn

Yes, they used to refer to these people as hypochondriacs. These days they have to give everything a catchy little name.

I'm a Registered Nurse, and have heard another term, psychosomatic, tossed around frequently. It means that someone's symptoms are all in their head.

It's basically the diagnosis a Dr gives someone when he/she and his/her colleagues have no damn clue what's going on with a patient. Rather than look stupid, blame the afflicted.
edit on 14-2-2013 by IamAbeliever because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-2-2013 by IamAbeliever because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:28 AM
reply to post by IamAbeliever

Exactly, the condition has been around for a while. With all of this new gun legislation however, TPTB are looking for any way they can to restrict who can get guns. Actual gun control legislation could be a sticky wicket so they are using the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to backdoor the gun control on us. They aren't going to make a big deal about it now because they don't want people to realize what they are doing. I guess with any legislation that is the case. Once their stricter gun laws restrict those who have any mental issues from owning a gun (at least that is what they want) they'll be like, "You can't have a gun, APA has deemed this condition a mental disorder and that disqualifies you."

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:29 AM
Psychiatry is largely a joke. No blood test, no scientific determination of 'mental illness' for diagnosis. The DSM is literally nothing more than a cache of 'symptoms for which a psychiatrist decides on their own if the patient suffers that disorder. What could go wrong?

On the relation of the subject of psychosomatic effects though, the mind is a powerful thing. We see in placebo tests, whose results often are recorded and evaluated properly, that what a person believes can truely effect their physical being. For me, this 'disorder' is largely a label psychiatry would like to pin on a related effect to this - though psychiatry will have no way to test a person for their 'disorder' scientifically. The diagnosis will be you describing your symptoms to a psychiatrist and that psychiatrists simply thinking it over and deciding to prescribe you something and thus diagnose you.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:36 AM
It's not actually that bad of a diagnosis. Too much attention given to anything is unhealthy. But all these names for these types of "disorders" are unnecessary.

In my opinion, most mental afflictions can be placed on a scale of either too much attention or too little attention. Pour too much attention into something, and it grows out of proportion, eclipsing everything else. Too little attention things become confusing. It's simple really. All of them could be fixed with some attention management training like meditation.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by indigothefish

Just as they have been bringing shootings out in full force they are also trying to link most of the shootings to mental health. Aurora and Sandy Hook are just a couple everyone knows about. University of Maryland is another they are trying to link to mental illness. The shooter was medicated, no mention of what medications of course, for all we know it was Valium.

University of Maryland Shooting - CBS

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:40 AM
So let me get this straight. A bunch of misconceptions are spread about the safety of our foods. We get unknown consequences from this Gras food chemistry and this causes us to have symptoms that the medical industry cannot figure out. Guess what... Not all of us can make proper enzymes and necessary Amino acids to eat everything. The medical industry tries their known drugs on us and they make things worse. Now we loose faith in medicine so the Psychologists and Doctors start to make up a disease name for this so we won't challenge their perception. Sounds normal to me. I guess we are all nuts.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:52 AM
How is this new? There's an entire chapter in the current DSM-IV-TR devoted to somatoform disorders. I also don't get why people always make a big deal about new diagnoses that will be in the DSM-V. A symptom that is common to every diagnosis is that your daily life has been negatively affected. Even if you might have anxiety it doesn't become a disorder until you think it has had a negative impact on your life. And even then it can't be diagnosed until you choose to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you think this is a ridiculous disorder then you probably won't be seeing a psychologist to be diagnosed with it and thus it has no impact on you. If people can't be diagnosed unless they choose to be diagnosed how is the government going to use this to sneak in gun control. It's baseless fears like the ones expressed in this thread that mental health to have an ongoing stigma associated with it and as a result the people who really need help don't get it.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:53 AM
reply to post by rickymouse

We are all a little nuts. My whole view on this is they are going to use this to bring more mental health enforcement for gun owners. Everyone has known about this issue for decades, it even had terms associated with it, but unless the APA documents the fact that it exists the Government can't use it to forward their various agendas.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by Xcalibur254

I'm not trying to add more stigma, I was just trying to present a possible scenario of what I see the Government trying to do. I am a Government employee myself so I see things like this and I try to see how it could possibly link to politics.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by bonsaihorn

Yeah I am sorry but this is complete BS.

Everybody who worries a little about their health would have that new "illness".

I do not know if this is real or fake, but it does make zero sense either way.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 10:03 AM
Wow... Now I have seen everything. The DSM V is obviously making a disorder out of ANYTHING remotely outside the "norm" as someone defines it. Every disorder needs a treatment and these days, those treatments come in a pill bottle 90% of the time. I see how this is now.... It was nice when the DSM had some integrity and value as a true authority on mental health. Now it shares that with a duty to support Big Pharma and new ways to get EVERYONE onto something, it seems.

Who would have thought it?? Take a hypochondriac and actually VALIDATE their paranoia by giving them precisely what they seemed to need. A named illness to wear like a little badge or something. Umm... yeah.. This makes as much sense as suspending kids for skipping school. Umm.. Thanks?

edit on 14-2-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 10:08 AM
I would assume that this new official definition must have been in the works for a while, so I'm not sure it has to do with gun control. I say that based on knowing that there has been talks for a while now of changing PTSD to PTSI, which has nothing to do with pharmaceutical deals, but the stigma of "disorder" vs "injury". Anyway, I mention this because I think they're pretty slow on changing terms, which is why I doubt it has to do with gun control.

If anything, like the article says, I think it means an agenda for the pharmaceutical industry.

I do think there should be gun control related to mental illnesses though.

It's murky water for sure because we're not dealing in tangent things. However, I have met people with fibromyalgia and a lot of the time, there is a psychological aspect, in that there is oftentimes some kind of abuse in their past. This may be a bias because I do meet most of these people at meet ups for people with some kind of traumatic experiences. Anyway, I don't think they'll diagnose just anyone with disorders (although some psychiatrists do), but the diagnosis is likely for people who need it, but can't get any help in the medical system and everyone looks at them like they have 3 heads. Unless you're at the hospital and telling them you're suicidal, this happens most of the time, sadly.

As for psychosomatic, I'm sure it's a jargon that's thrown around a lot more now because people understand the link a bit better, but that doesn't mean it's not real. I have been dealing with this for a long time, but only in the last two years realize what's going on. I was physically, sexually, and mentally abused as a child, and never acknowledged these things, until a couple years ago, I had a child and I ended up with severe antenatal and postpartum anxiety and eventually c-ptsd. Anyway, when I finally started reading up on understanding my body symptoms and in talking to other survivors as well as my therapists (my current one is amazing), I realize a lot of somatic symptoms are related to my past trauma, which like it or not, has an emotional impact on me now, 2-3 decades later. They didn't push me to take drugs (the psychiatrist suggested two, but she allowed me time to think about it and ask questions and say no). Like I said, I'm sure some psychiatrist and doctors push for drugs, but there are good and bad ones, just like any other industry.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 10:41 AM
What about the individuals that are suffering from a difficult to diagnose illness?

Some illnesses are notoriously hard to diagnose, like many autoimmune diseases, and, the symptoms can be very distressing for the patient, especially when there is no diagnosis to chalk them up to.

I personally experienced this.

I had a bunch of horrible symptoms and not one of the doctors I saw could give me an answer. Two in particular stand out in my mind; both of them telling me I was 'imagining' my symptoms. This made no sense, because, with that logic, couldn't I just 'imagine' myself to be well?

It took over two years to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. My body didn't read the textbook and unfortunately, that delayed my diagnosis. So with my being 'too young' for RA and having atypical symptoms, I had to suffer until they finally figured it out.

I am glad I didn't get slapped with an SSD diagnosis as that could have delayed things even more.

In my mind, this kind of a label is only serving to hinder an actual diagnosis for some, meaning that they will not receive proper treatment for their ailment.
edit on 14-2-2013 by daryllyn because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 11:26 AM
Here is the list of somatoform disorders currently included in the DSM:

Somatization Disorder
Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder
Conversion Disorder
Pain Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Somatoform Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Then there are also a few anxiety disorders that could be pertinent such as Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition and Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety where the stressor is a major medical condition.

Anything that would be covered by this disorder is already present in the current DSM. The only difference is that many of them are now being grouped together under a single diagnosis. If these diagnoses aren't affecting your life presently why do people think that will change when the DSM-5 is published in May?

As I stated in my last post the only way to be diagnosed with one of these disorders is to seek out a diagnosis. It is your choice to see a psychologist if you think your brain is producing aberrant behavior that is having a negative impact on your life. The only exception to this is if your family can prove in a court that you are a threat to yourself or others. The truth is the only people that are going to be affected by the publication of the DSM-5 are the psychologists that now need to learn a whole new set of codes so they can properly bill the insurance companies.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 03:04 PM
I have psychogenic tremors, somatoform disorder and conversion disorder.

I was already in a wheelchair for almost 40 years (from a car crash, broken back, partial parplegic) when a car backed out a driveway and ran me down. As I saw that the car had 'control of me', after scanning my surroundings, as I do when driving my car, I blanked out! I do not remember landing on the ground, but I came to in excruciating pain, broken left femur, oblique fracture at head and stalk of the bone. While awaiting an ambulance my arms flew up into the air and shook like crazy, my left eye ''ticed', my left cheek shook, my nose twitched and sneered, like Dick Cheney ,my teeth gnashed together and then all would settle down, only to start up again. That was 4 years ago, March 27, 2009.

I still have these tremors. My GP did not believe this, nor the Neurologist to whom he referred me. I said I then wanted a referral to a Physiatrist (doctor of physical medicine... there were 2 of them in the Rehab hospital of 1969-70's 1st crash.) The GP said I was overdoctoring and that no one would ever have a diagnosis for me. I had him put that in writing.

The waiting period for a Physiatrist is a long time. My lawyer finally had me booked for May 16, 2012. In that doctor's report, prepared for all of me, as acceptable in a Court of Law, he stated:

34 #TREMOR I agree with the neurological opinion of Dr. M. that the tremor does not
35 appear to be organic; that is, it appears to be of psychological origin as opposed to neurologically 36 based. In other words, the tremor is caused by psychological factors as opposed to any injury of
37 the nervous system.
38 #3 ADJUSTMENT DISORDER. I agree with Dr. E, clinical psychologist, that the
39 trauma of the 2009 MVA has overwhelmed Ms. T. and rendered her more anxious than
40 normal. The increased anxiety has had both emotionally and somatoform manifestations. On an
41 emotional level, Ms. T. has experienced increased nervousness with a diminished ability
42 to cope. On a somatoform level, she has developed the aforementioned psychogenic tremor.
43 The psychogenic tremor would be considered a somatoform disorder in which there is
44 conversion of psychological distress (anxiety) into a physical problem (tremor). I defer to a
45 mental health specialist with regard to the prognosis of the adjustment disorder and psychogenic 46 tremor.

This was explained to me that when the mind has had too many traumas, it can convert a Psychological Trauma to a Physical (visible) problem

I can list all the psychological traumas from childhood up to this last accident, physically abusive father, dysfunctional family (taunting by bullying siblings), judgment over my having an illegiimate child before it was 'popular', the first car crash and paralysis, her father suicided, daughter grew up to marry a Narcissistic control freak, who dismissed me (1991), then she left him and took the 3 grandchildren, whom I don't know, met an Narcissist of my own (a repeat of my rageful father), left him, then this car crash.

There were 3 surgeries, the last was to remove the femoral head (it died) and now no longer have use of my left leg. (I ambulated for decades on crutches, and used the 'chair as well).

When my mind blanked out, I can see it "telling me" that I didn't need another trauma, or I might lose my mind, so I converted it to a physical problem, the tremors.

I know this is referred to as a mental disorder, but at least I know what it is, in comparison to always wondering what the neurological problem could be......!! No one who knows me considers me 'crazy'.

Just sayin'.......
edit on 1-3-2013 by canadiansenior70 because: spell

posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 01:33 PM
I imagine that my reply will be quite different from the others- but I have what 'they' would call somatic symptom disorder.
I do suffer a great deal from this, though I do not believe in mental illness. What I suffer from is not a disease of the mind, it is an experience/ a manifestation that came about from the trauma of watching my father die of liver cancer. Having the traumatic experience did not make me sick, it made my perception of my own body change to a perception that lies outside of the norm.
When you have what I prefer to call just downright hypochondria, like I do, you become aware of things happening in your body that are typically automatic and ignored by most people...breathing, blinking, walking. When you have anxiety over somatic symptoms you increase in hypersensitivity to these processes that they no longer feel automatic.
From my hypochondria, GERD sprang about recently, and has been wrecking havoc on my body. When you are tense every second of every day, fearing death is inevitable regardless of what they doctor told you, the stress your mind puts onto your body manifests actual health problems, as it has with me. Mind over matter. Never underestimate the power of your mind.
Not everything is a conspiracy to take your guns away.
Not everything is a conspiracy in general...
The only problem here is that they assume that someone like myself is mentally sick, when the entire idea that something such as mental "illness" is real. Even a schizophrenic is not sick, they are perceiving a different version of reality. The fear that comes from that sense of loss of control is the sickness in a sense. But it does not make it wrong.
Every mental "illness" in existence stems from societal experiences. Something will trigger a detachment episode, anxiety, depression, psychosis. You are not sick, you are responding to experiences you have had.
As if there is such a thing as a "normal" person in this world...what is normal about any of this?
Because the people in the medical health industry do not understand, does not mean that they are conspiring to make your lives hell. They just don't understand, and most of us are just as lost as they are.

posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 08:19 PM
lets just take one disorder fibromyalgia.

Most doctors claim its a Somatic symptom disorder because lab test do not show anything.

The big problem is for the last 30 years these doctors have been doing the wrong test and due to some doctors(Simon Wessely, and the Wessely school of psychiatry,) that worked for the insurance industry that did not want to pay for treatment or disability. Research was cut and these disorders claimed to be all in the patents head. IE a Somatic symptom disorder.

Now there are a few schools that have done research on fibromyalgia and found a large number of people with fibro really have small fiber polyneuropathy.

Since most doctors DO NOT keep up on medical research most of us with fibro will be labeled as having a somatoform disorder.

posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 08:24 PM

originally posted by: IamAbeliever
reply to post by bonsaihorn

Yes, they used to refer to these people as hypochondriacs. These days they have to give everything a catchy little name.

I'm a Registered Nurse, and have heard another term, psychosomatic, tossed around frequently. It means that someone's symptoms are all in their head.

You've never seen neurotic middle aged ladies with fibro and polyallergies come in because they didn't poop at the right time today?

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