SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Conversion disorder vs. Somatoform pain vs. Somatization

Discussion in 'Step I' started by bt9099, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. bt9099

    bt9099 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    For the love of g-d someone please help me differentiate between these 3. Kills me every time.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. It'sElectric

    It'sElectric 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Conversion Disorder: pt presents w/ a physiologic disorder (i.e. right arm is paralyzed), but none of the labs/tests confirm that one really exists. Usually follows some sort of acute stress (i.e. divorce).

    Somatoform Disorder: pt presents w/ actual chronic pain that is completely unrelated to an actual illness.

    Somatization Disorder: pt presents with numerous complaints without any identifiable etiology. This is the one where they're supposed to have like 4 GI sx, 2 pain, 1 neuro, and 1 sexual.

    Hopefully that helps.
  4. bt9099

    bt9099 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2008
  5. whoknows2010

    whoknows2010 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2006

    Not quite, but close...

    Somatoform disorder is a catagory that encompasses all disorders that are characterized by physical complaints that cannot be explained by a medical diagnosis. Somatoform disorders include the following diagnoses:

    1) Conversion Disorder - Neurological symptoms without a neurological explanation. This diagnosis is restricted to motor and sensory symptoms. Include Numbness, paralysis, seizure, blindness, etc. May be preceded by an acute stressor. Also cannot be part of a somatization disorder (see below).

    2) Somatization disorder - A patient who consistently complains of a variety of physical symptoms without a physiological explanation. The DSM requires that the onset must be before age 30, that there is pain in at least 4 different parts of the body, 2 GI problems (not including pain), one sexual symptom, and one neurological symptom.

    3) Hypochondriasis - Excessive preoccupation or worry about illness that persists even after evaluation by a physician is negative. Fears that minor symptoms are indicative of a serious condition.

    4) Body Dysmorphic Disorder - Excessive concern and preoccupation with physical flaws - either imagined or extremely minor - that cause significant psychological distress (and cannot be accounted for by another disorder, such as anorexia nervosa)

    5) Pain Disorder - chronic pain in one or more area that cannot be otherwise explained.

    I also think that that first aid includes Pseudocyesis on their list, which is the false belief of being pregnant - although it is usually associated with clinical signs and symptoms of pregnancy, and isn't a DSM classified disorder per se, and when diagnosed, it is considered a somatoform disorder NOS (not otherwise specified).

    Hope this helps
  6. Knicks

    Knicks 7+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm surprised that pretentious poster peter90036 hasn't entered this thread and cried out, "GOOGLE!" yet..... :rolleyes:

    he must be spamming other threads at the moment....
  7. It'sElectric

    It'sElectric 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2005
  8. peter90036

    peter90036 not out fishing 7+ Year Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    next to the pond
    awww how cute, Knicks missed me,

    and contributing valuable information yet again...
  9. GynGuy1983

    GynGuy1983 C&A Psychiatry Fellow 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Rathke's pouch
    The somatoform disorders involve psychological preoccupation with physical symptoms. Patients with somatization disorder have numerous physical symptoms involving several organ systems. Symptoms tend to be migratory (both in time and space) and are presented with dramatic flair. The patient insists on complete medical attention. Symptoms include ill-defined pains, pseudoneurologic symptoms (often poorly described alterations of consciousness), and gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and sexual dysfunction. The disorder is more common in women and is frequently associated with concomitant psychiatric illness, including depression, unsuccessful suicide attempts, anxiety, and irritability. Conversion disorder involves an obvious loss of neurologic function in the absence of organic neurologic disease. Patients do not consciously realize the nonorganic basis of the illness, yet they frequently demonstrate lack of concern for the deficit (la belle indifférence). Patients often have an antecedent psychosocial stressor, as well as unconscious secondary gain (e.g., extra attention from the spouse, relief from onerous work obligations).

    Taken from Cecil Essentials of Medicine

Share This Page