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Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Nov;145(11):1358-68.

Somatization: the concept and its clinical application.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto School of Medicine, Canada.


Somatization, a tendency to experience and communicate somatic distress in response to psychosocial stress and to seek medical help for it, poses a major medical, social, and economic problem. It is most often associated with depressive and anxiety disorders and constitutes the core of somatoform disorders. Its persistent form is especially costly and difficult to prevent and manage. The author discusses the prevalence, clinical manifestations, etiology, and treatment of somatization and presents a critical review of somatoform disorders.

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