Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders (#1): Differentiating Disorders.

DSM-5 Somatic Symptom & Related Disorders includes:

  • Somatic Symptom Disorder
  • Illness Anxiety Disorder
  • Conversion Disorder (Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder)
  • Psychological Factors Affecting Other Medical Conditions
  • Factitious Disorder

Differentiating Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders

Somatic Symptom Disorder increased preoccupation with distressing or disruptive symptoms.
* + either excessive thoughts/ feelings/ behaviors.
* duration > 6 months.
Illness Anxiety Disorder increased preoccupation with having or acquiring imagined illness.
* without signs of illness.
* symptoms: absent or minimally present.
* duration > 6 months.
Conversion Disorder altered voluntary motor or sensory function (neurological symptoms).
* Clinical incompatibility.
Factitious Disorder Voluntary falsification of symptoms but NO INSIGHT.
* internal incentives.
Malingering Voluntary Falsification of symptoms, WITH INSIGHT (deliberate).
* external incentives.


  1. Front Neurol Neurosci. 2018;42:72-80.
  2. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Please do post your questions or comments below. 

Dr. Harvinder Singh, M.D. (Admin)

Enroll in our online course to have access to all important clinically relevant psychiatry topics in one place.

Related Articles