Somatization disorder is defined as a disorder that involves chronic complaints of specific bodily symptoms without any physical basis, which persists for a minimum of six months. It is characterized by: historic complaints which involve at least four pain symptoms in different areas of the body such as the back, head and extremities; two gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and bloating;
a sexual symptom which may be in form of sexual indifference, irregular menses or erectile dysfunction; a pseudo neurological symptom such as conversion symptoms, amnesia, or difficulties in breathing; the symptoms are evident before the age of thirty years, occur for several years and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning; the symptoms are non intentionally produced or feigned; from a patient’s perspective such symptoms cannot be fully explained by a known medical condition or by direct effects of a substance. In addition, a patient exhibits a general medical condition whose physical complaints are however in excess of what is expected given the history, physical exam, or laboratory findings of the patient (Durand & Burlow 27-37).
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