Somatization Disorder Causes
(Also Known As: Somatic Disorder Causes, Somatization Causes, Somatoform Causes, Somatization Syndrome Causes, Somatization Disorders Causes)
(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)
What Causes Somatization Disorder?
Although there is no exact evidence to determine the cause of somatization syndrome, it is widely believed to be a combination of stress and heredity. Individuals suffering from the condition have a background of illnesses. Stress can aggravate the symptoms and can bring about a negative impact on work and social relationships. 3
Somatization syndrome can also be caused by psychological problems such as personality disorders and overdependence on other people. It has been discovered that women suffering from somatization syndrome have male relatives suffering from personality disorders as well as a history of substance abuse.
Defense Against Psychological Distress
One of the oldest theories concerning the cause of somatization disorders is that it is a method of avoiding psychological distress. Instead of experiencing depression or anxiety, individuals opt to suffer from physical symptoms. This theoretical model asserts that somatization syndrome serves as a protection against psychological pain which lets people avoid the negative effects of a psychiatric diagnosis. While being cared for and nurtured by doctors who are responsive to their medical condition, individuals suffering from somatization syndrome continue with their manipulative tendencies.
Increased Sensitivity to Physical Sensations
Another theory suggests that somatization syndrome results from an increased sensitivity to inner feelings. People suffering from somatization syndrome may be keenly aware of the small pain and discomforts that most people simply neglect. The physiological and psychological origins of their oversensitivity to inner feelings and their significance to somatization syndrome are not clearly understood.
Catastrophic Thinking About Physical Sensations
These theories state that somatization syndrome is triggered by negative feelings and exaggerated fears about the importance of physical sensations. For people suffering from somatization syndrome, vague physical symptoms indicate serious diseases and the patient requires treatment for the condition. For instance, a simple headache indicates a brain tumor or shortness of breath can lead to asthma.
Could You Have Somatization Disorder?
Somatization Disorder Topics