When someone is obsessively worrying that any minor physical problem can be a serious illness, you might have somatic symptom disorder which used to be known as hypochondria. This is having excessive and unrealistic worries of your health. It is important to go to treatment if somatic symptom disorder if interfering with your life and you want to believe you are healthy.

People with somatic symptom disorder are worried of getting a disease or feel they have it even if the tests tell them otherwise. They misinterpret minor health problems or normal body functions as symptoms of a real disease. For example, someone can think if they have a headache that it means they are developing a brain tumor. They can have general complaints like any pain, breathing problems, tiredness, or stomach noises and always assume the worst. If someone has an actual physical illness, any symptoms they experience will increase their worries of a sudden death. Having somatic symptom disorder does not mean that they are lying or faking their symptoms like having Munchausen Syndrome but they truly believe that they are sick.

You know you have somatic symptom disorder if you have a history of many doctor visits or finding a doctor that will tell you what you want to hear that you are as sick as you believe. It can also mean that you have recently experienced loss, are concerned of your organs or body systems, you suffer from anxiety, nervousness, or depression, or this disorder is interfering with work and your relationships. The risks of having this disorder without getting treatment is having high medical bills and having trouble functioning in life altogether if you are in constant worry that the worse will come to your health.

Treating somatic symptom disorder can be hard because those with this disorder refuse to believe they are going through something mental and emotional instead of believing it is a physical problem. It is important to stay in regular contact with your doctor so that your symptoms can be in check and to be alerted of any changes that can be considered dangerous. Antidepressants can be used if you have a mood disorder or anxiety. By going to psychotherapy like cognitive behavioral therapy, you can have your negative thought patterns changed that contribute to your symptoms. You will learn better ways to deal with your stress and trusting your doctor.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.