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In somatization disorder the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria are:[1]

  • A history of somatic complaints over several years, starting prior to the age of 30.
  • At least four different sites of pain on the body, AND at least two gastrointestinal problems, AND one sexual dysfunction, AND one pseudoneurological symptom.
  • Such symptoms cannot be fully explained by a general medical condition or substance use OR, when there is an associated medical condition, the impairments due to the somatic symptoms are more severe than generally expected.
  • Complaints are not feigned as in malingering or factitious disorder.

The symptoms do not all have to occur at the same time, but may occur over the course of the disorder. A somatization disorder itself is chronic but fluctuating that rarely remits completely. A thorough physical examination of the specified areas of complaint is critical for Somatization disorder diagnosis. Medical examination would provide object evidence of subjective complaints of the individual.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Forth Edition, Text Revision: DSM-IV-TR, 486–490, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

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