Somatization Disorder Research
(Also Known As: Somatic Disorder Research, Somatization Research, Somatoform Research, Somatization Syndrome Research, Somatization Disorders Research)
(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)
Current Research on Somatization Disorder
There is empirical evidence that supports the belief that childhood trauma may bring about somatoform disorders. According to the findings of several studies, an individual who has failed to develop their mental coping skills as a child are prone to somatoform disorders. 9
In relation to somatization disorder, a 2005 study by Modestin revealed that severe sexual abuse during childhood can significantly trigger the development of somatization disorder. There was a higher percentage of sexual abuse among the female participants of the study hence they showed greater tendency for somatization complaints than the male population. Broken homes and violence in the family were also major indicators of severe sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, a 2004 study by Cornell University’s Jeffrey Haugaard revealed that somatization disorder is an unpredictable and severe disorder. He based his conclusion from the case of Richard, who was sodomized by several male workers between 6 and 8 years old. When he was 10, Richard began complaining of multiple aches and pains and nausea at school. However, several medical examinations revealed no physical basis for Richard’s complaints.
Within the next year, Richard’s physical education teacher believed that he was just fabricating his symptoms in order to be exempted from physical activity. On the part of his parents, they believed that it was triggered by childhood abuse but are reluctant to dismiss their conclusion because they are afraid to be called insensitive.
Richard’s case proved that, although somatization disorder is uncommon in children, severe childhood abuse can trigger the condition.
Could You Have Somatization Disorder?
Somatization Disorder Topics