Standard Article

Somatoform Disorders

  1. William H. Watson

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0928

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Watson, W. H. 2010. Somatoform Disorders. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), the class of mental disorders involving symptoms pertaining primarily to the body are designated somatoform disorders (in Greek, soma = body). All somatoform disorders are marked either by the presence of medically unexplained symptoms driven at least in part by psychological processes or by anxious preoccupation with the body. Somatoform patients have significantly higher utilization of outpatient and inpatient care compared to nonsomatizing patients. They generally seek care from medical rather than mental health providers. As a result, mental health practitioners often have the mistaken impression that somatoform disorders are exceedingly rare.


  • somatoform;
  • mind-body;
  • psychosomatic