Somatization and Bodily Distress Disorder



Somatization refers to the formation of bodily symptoms—including pain, vegetative symptoms, and others—that do not have an appropriate medical explanation.

From a psychodynamic perspective, somatization is caused by the repression of subjectively unbearable emotions, conflicts, and memories. A neurobiological correlate of this mechanism is the altered function of the brain regions that are involved in the processing of autobiographical memory.

If intensified pain perception is the leading symptom, subjectively experienced social separation can very often be identified as a trigger mechanism. From a neurobiological point of view, this phenomenon is caused by shared neural presentations for the processing of pain and social isolation.


Somatization Bodily distress disorder DSM-V/ICD-11 Briquet’s syndrome Alexithymia Resomatization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyJohann Wolfgang Goethe University HospitalFrankfurt am MainGermany

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