Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Somatic Symptom Disorder - Cross-Examining Psych Doctors, Tip #106

A Somatic Symptom Disorder is a relatively new disorder that is only found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5), which was published in May, 2013.  In fact, according to page 311 of the DSM-5, the diagnostic criteria for a Somatic Symptom Disorder has replaced what in the DSM-IV-TR was Pain Disorders.  A Somatic Symptom Disorder is correctly diagnosed when the patient presents with somatic or physical symptoms for more than six months that are accompanied by excessive thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to those symptoms or associated health concerns.  A reading of page 311 also reveals that the doctor is required to specify if the individual has this disorder (a) With Predominant Pain, (b) is Persistent in that it has lasted more than six months, and (c) occurs with a severity that is best described as Mild, Moderate or Severe.  When you find that the doctor has diagnosed a Somatic Symptom Disorder, you should look to see if they provided information in their report indicating that the patient met the DSM criteria for that disorder.

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