Somatic Symptom Disorder in an Arizona Divorce
Symptoms of somatic symptom disorder may be: Specific sensations, such as pain or shortness of breath, or more general symptoms, such as fatigue or weakness unrelated to any medical issue that can be identified, or related to a medical condition such as cancer or heart disease, but more significant than what’s usually expected from a single symptom , multiple symptoms or varying symptoms.
Mild, moderate or severe pain is the most common symptom, but whatever your symptoms, you have excessive thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to those symptoms, which cause significant problems, make it difficult to function and sometimes can be disabling.
Excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can include: Having a high level of worry about potential illness. Considering normal physical sensations as a sign of severe physical illness. Fearing the medical seriousness of symptoms, even when there is no evidence to support that concern. Appraising physical sensations as threatening, harmful or causing problems.
Feeling that medical evaluation and treatment have not been adequate. Fearing that physical activity may cause damage to your body. Repeatedly checking your body for abnormalities. Frequent health care visits that don’t relieve your concerns or that make them worse. Being unresponsive to medical treatment or unusually sensitive to medication side effects. Having a more severe impairment than would usually be expected related to a medical condition.
For somatic symptom disorder, more important than the specific physical symptoms you experience is the way you interpret and react to the symptoms and how they impact your daily life.
When to see a Doctor
Because you’re concerned about physical symptoms and medical illness, you may start by seeing your primary care provider. Because symptoms can be related to health problems, it’s important to be evaluated by your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure what’s causing your symptoms. If your provider believes that you may have somatic symptom disorder, he or she may also refer you to a mental health provider.
Caring for a Loved One
When physical symptoms considered to be somatic symptom disorder occur, it can be difficult to accept that a life-threatening illness has been eliminated as the cause. Symptoms cause very real distress for the person and reassurance isn’t always helpful. Encourage your loved one to consider the possibility of a mental health referral to learn ways to cope with the reaction to symptoms and any disability it causes.
Physical disability may cause the person to be dependent and need extra physical care and emotional support that can exhaust caregivers and cause stress on families and relationships. If you feel overwhelmed by your role as caregiver, you may want to talk to a mental health professional to address your own needs.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.
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