Somatization Disorder is characterised by a person having real physical symptoms, but with no medical explanation for them at all. The person does not invent or pretend they have pain, as malingerers do, they actually have real pain that cannot be explained. To be diagnosed with this the person must have pain or concerns relating to at least four areas of their body.
Most often the disorder presents in prolonged pain and problems with the digestive, the reproductive and the nervous system. The physical symptoms they can present with can include pain, tremors, burning feelings, seizures, sweats, tingling, dizziness or headaches. It is ongoing and can lead to a significant impairment in the sufferer’s ability to work
The condition normally appears before the age of thirty, and tends to be much more common in women than it is in men. Stress appears to make the symptoms of this disorder worse.
Somatization Disorder can have a serious impact on a person life, affecting their work, home, and social life. Sufferers can also become dependent on pain killers or sedatives in an attempt to try to alleviate their pain.