Definition

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Somatic symptom disorder involves having a significant focus on physical symptoms — such as pain or fatigue — to the point that it causes major emotional distress and problems functioning. You may or may not have another diagnosed medical condition associated with these symptoms.

Excessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors in response to physical symptoms may lead to frequent doctor visits. You often think the worst about your symptoms and continue to search for an explanation, even when other serious conditions have been excluded. Health concerns may become such a central focus of your life that it's hard to function, sometimes leading to disability.

If you have somatic symptom disorder, you may experience significant emotional and physical suffering. Treatment can help ease symptoms, help you cope and improve your quality of life.

May 21, 2015