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What is the difference between somatoform and somatization disorders?

? Please type your query here.. RESPECTED SIR, I want to ask that both Somatoform and somatization disorders are cause due to factors like stress and anxiety so what is the difference between both of them..because we are saying that in Somatoform physical illness leads to anxiety but the cause of this physical illness is the stress itself so how can we differentiate between both of them.
Asked On : Wed, 9 May 2012
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hi and welcome to Healthcaremagic. Thanks for your question...

Somatoform disorders are a group of disorders characterized by predominantly physical symptoms which cannot be explained fully by a medical condition and which are not due to the direct effect of a substance or due to any other mental disorder.

There are many subtypes of somatoform disorders and "Somatization Disroder" is one such subtype of somatoform disorder. In somatization disorder, the person has MULTIPLE unexplained physical symptoms, usually involving different systems of the body.

All somatoform disorders, including somatization disorder, are thought to have a psychological basis and are closely associated with stress/ anxiety. It is also important to note that since the mind and the body are interconnected and function in unison, the relation between stress / anxiety / psychological problems and somatic / physical symtoms is often reciprocal... i.e. each one can influence the other. So, when the mind is not at peace and under stress, it can affect the body as well and manifest as physical symptoms.

I hope I have clarified your doubt.

Wish you good health.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Thu, 19 Jul 2012
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