APA website: New documents and videos on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder; article: Psychiatric News

APA website: New documents and videos on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder; article: Psychiatric News

Post #228 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2Gi

Updates at March 7

Article in Die Psychiatrie

Somatic Symptom Disorders: a new approach in DSM-5

J. E. Dimsdale, University of California, San Diego, DSM Task force, Somatic Symptoms Work Group

Die Psychiatrie 2013; 10: 30–32


Following a brief historic discourse, problems with the current use and concepts the of somatoform disorders are described. The rationale for substituting the term “somatoform” with “somatic symptom” in DSM5 is explained and the new classification criteria for the group of “somatic symptom related disorders” are described, which include severity ratings.

A special aspect is that “Illness anxiety disorder” is introduced as a new diagnostic entity in DSM-5.

“Störung mit somatischen Symptomen”: ein neuer Ansatz in DSM-5


Nach einem kurzen historischen Diskurs werden die Problembereiche und die Konzepte der somatoformen Störungen erläutert. Das Rational für einen Ersatz der “somatoformen” Störung durch eine “Störung mit somatischen Symptomen” in DSM5 wird erläutert. Die Klassifikationskriterien der Gruppe der “Störungen mit somatischen Symptomen” wird dargestellt.

Ein besonderer Aspekt ist die Einführung einer “Erkrankungsangst-Störung” in DSM-5.

Full paper can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/W7filu

Doug Bremner, MD, comments on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ here:

DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Disorder is Going to Make Us All Mental

Doug Bremner | February 12, 2013


A number of new documents and short videos on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ have been published on the APA’s new webpages, plus an article in Psychiatric News, published on March 1.

These are followed by recent, mainstream media coverage of concerns for all illness groups for the implications of misdiagnosis with ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ or for an additional diagnosis of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder.’


Fact Sheet: Click link for PDF document   Somatic Symptom Disorder


Joel E Dimsdale, Chair, DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group

What is Somatic Symptom Disorder?


What was the rationale behind changes to Somatic Symptom Disorder?


Will Somatic Symptom Disorder result in the missing of other medical problems?


Article: Psychiatric News (organ of the APA):


Psychiatric News | March 01, 2013
Volume 48 Number 5 page 7-7
American Psychiatric Association
Professional News

Somatic Chapter Drops Centrality Of Unexplained Medical Symptoms

Mark Moran

“…But Joel Dimsdale, M.D., chair of the Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders Work Group, emphasized that the most important change overall in this set of disorders is removal of the centrality of medically unexplained symptoms. “That was a defining characteristic of these disorders in DSM-IV, but we believe it was unhelpful and promoted a mind-body dualism that is hard to justify,” he told Psychiatric News.

So, for instance, the diagnosis of somatization disorder in DSM-IV was based on a long and complex symptom count of medically unexplained symptoms. DSM-5 criteria eliminate that requirement and recognize that individuals who meet criteria for somatic symptom disorder—the new designation, marked by disproportionate thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to somatic symptoms—may or may not have a medically diagnosed condition.

Hypochondriasis has been eliminated; most individuals who would previously have been diagnosed with hypochondriasis have significant somatic symptoms in addition to their high health anxiety and should receive a DSM-5 diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder. Those with high health anxiety without somatic symptoms should receive a diagnosis of illness anxiety disorder…

Read full article here


Related material

Dimsdale JE. Medically Unexplained Symptoms: A Treacherous Foundation for Somatoform Disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am, Volume 34, Issue 3, Pages 511-513 [PUBMED 21889675]

Overlapping Conditions Alliance (OCA)

“Members of the Overlapping Conditions Alliance (OCA) produced a white paper, Chronic Pain in Women: Neglect, Dismissal and Discrimination, to promote awareness and research of neglected and poorly understood chronic pain conditions that affect millions of American women. This report, which can be viewed and downloaded below, includes detailed policy recommendations to further these goals.” (Report 2010 and Report 2011)



Recent mainstream media coverage of the SSD issue

ABC News Radio:
Guidelines for Diagnosing Psychiatric Disorder May Overlook Physical Illnesses

ABC News:
New Psych Disorder Could Mislabel Sick as Mentally Ill

Canada.com and syndicated to a number of other Canadian media sites:
New “catch all” psychiatric disorder could label people who worry about their health as mentally ill

Fox News Health:
Does somatic symptom disorder really exist?

DSM-5 Task Force Chair, David J Kupfer, MD, defends the SSD construct on Huffington Post (but provides no answers to my questions):

David J. Kupfer, M.D. Chair, DSM-5 Task Force

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care


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