Cognitive-affective neuroscience of somatization disorder and functional somatic syndromes: Reconceptualizing the triad of depression-anxiety-somatic symptoms

Stein D.J. ; Muller J. (2008)


Somatization disorder is a somatoform disorder that overlaps with a number of functional somatic syndromes and has high comorbidity with major depression and anxiety disorders. Proposals have been made for revising the category of somatoform disorders, for simplifying the criteria for somatization disorder, and for emphasizing the unitary nature of the functional somatic syndromes in future classifications. A review of the cognitive-affective neuroscience of somatization disorder and related conditions suggests that overlapping psychobiological mechanisms mediate depression, anxiety, and somatization symptoms. Particular genes and environments may contribute to determining whether symptoms are predominantly depressive, anxious, or somatic, and there are perhaps also overlaps and distinctions in the distal evolutionary mechanisms that produce these symptoms.

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