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What is the difference between Somatic Symptom Disorder and Illness Anxiety Disorder?

December 10, 2019


Well this is doctor grande today the question is what is the difference between? somatic symptom disorder an illness anxiety disorder Now these two disorders used to be represented by just one disorder in older editions of the DSM the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual This disorder was referred to as hypochondriasis You may have heard the term Hypochondriac that was derived from the the word hypochondriasis So we had this disorder hypochondriasis and now those symptom presentations would be divided mostly between somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder With most of the cases that would have been considered hypochondriasis moving over to somatic symptom disorder So let’s talk about these two disorders with somatic symptom disorder an individual has somatic complaints Meaning they have symptoms that they can feel that are distressing to them Oftentimes the symptom is pain, but it doesn’t have to be a pain related symptom. It can be another symptom like fatigue somatic symptom disorder causes a significant disruption in individuals life and there can be excessive thoughts feelings and behaviors around The somatic symptoms we see this expressed in a few different ways there can be thoughts about the seriousness of the symptoms there can be high anxiety about health or symptoms or excessive time and energy invested Into concerns about health or symptoms. We can see one two or all three of those Somatic symptom disorder has two specifiers and three severity specifiers the first specifier is with predominantly pain So this is when the somatic symptoms are mostly pain related the next specifier is persistent So this is where you have severe symptoms Or severe impairment or a long duration, which would be more than six months There are also three severity specifiers mild moderate and severe when considering the criteria for somatic symptom disorder We would also think about as a differential diagnosis. Potentially illness anxiety disorder and Illness anxiety disorder has a lot of similarities. There’s a preoccupation With acquiring or having a serious medical condition and high anxiety about that and also Excessive checking in terms of to see if the symptoms are present searching criteria for medical conditions on the Internet events like that or avoidance the main difference here with illness anxiety disorder is That there are no somatic symptoms, or there are mild somatic symptoms, so it’s somatic symptom disorder You have the somatic symptoms with illness anxiety disorder you don’t or they’re mild There are two specifiers used with illness anxiety disorder care seeking type and care avoidant type So in care seeking type some of this type of illness anxiety disorder would go to physicians sometimes more than one physician visit quite often have test run and Usually everything comes back negative meaning. There’s no reason to believe that there is a serious medical condition that Cycle typically repeats care avoidant type will avoid contact with the medical community they’ll avoid going to the physician so both somatic symptom disorder and Illness anxiety disorder really are talking about the same thing with the main difference being the somatic symptoms I Hope you found this description of the difference between somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder to be interesting. Thanks for watching

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