Somatization is a process as well as a diagnosis Essay

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The somatoform disorders are a major diagnostic class in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM IV) which groups together conditions characterized by physical symptoms suggestive of but not fully explained by general medical or the direct effects of a substance. In this class symptoms are not intentionally produced and are not attributable to another mental disorder. The disorders included in this class are somatization disorder, conversion disorder, pain disorder, hypochondiasis, undifferentiated somatoform disorder, body dysmorphic disorder and somatoform disorder not otherwise specified (First &Allan Tasman 2010).
There appear to be sufficient reasons to group together the
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There are also different critics on each specific type of somatoform disorders. for example; there are those who question whether somatization disorder is a single disorder. Some contend that the presence of other psychiatric disorders (psychiatric comorbidity) indicates a heterogeneous disorder (Liskoow et al. 1986). Others contend that there is a spectrum of disorders with out clear demarcation between them (Ford 1983). While these arguments have merit, the currently available data are for considering the disorder as a relatively discrete, homogeneous entity Smith (1991).

According to First &Allan Tasman (2010) the somatoform disorder concept should be distinguished from traditional concept of psychosomatic illness and somatization. The psychosomatic involve structure of physiological changes hypothesized as deriving from psychological factors. Recent studies however, indicate that the diagnosis of somatoform disorder is inseparable from the process of somatization. They argue that the diagnosis of somatoform disorder is the out come of the process of somatization. Some writers even disapprove the categories of the somatoform disorders. For instance, considering all the difficulties with the categorization of these disorders, Kirmayer and Robbins (1991)

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