Skip to main content

Somatic manifestation of distress: functional somatic syndromes and somatic symptom disorders

Edited by: Dr Mutsuhiro Nakao

Somatic complaints are often related to chronic stress-related illnesses, but the diagnoses are not obvious in all cases.  In some cases, patients could be classified with functional somatic syndromes. The syndromes are defined as several related disease-conditions that are characterized more by symptoms, suffering, and disability than by structural or functional abnormality. Typically, the functional somatic syndromes include irritable bowel syndrome, tension type headache, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia, all of which are frequently observed in psychosomatic medicine clinics. Also, the somatic complaints which are not fully explained by a medical condition could be diagnosed as somatic symptom disorders from a view of psychiatry. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other area of functioning. In this series in BioPsychoSocial Medicine, we present the latest findings on somatic manifestation of distress, represented by functional somatic syndromes (internal medicine), somatic symptom disorders (psychiatry), and other stress-related phenomenon.

The Editor of the series declares no competing interests.

  1. Menstrual problems can significantly impact daily and work life. In reaction to a shrinking population, the Japanese government is encouraging more women to participate in the labor force. Actual success in ac...

    Authors: Mariko Nishikitani, Mutsuhiro Nakao, Shinobu Tsurugano, Mariko Inoure and Eiji Yano
    Citation: BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2017 11:26
  2. Self-help cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a useful approach for the treatment of psychological problems. Recent research on the effectiveness of self-help internet-based CBT (ICBT) indicates that the parad...

    Authors: Kentaro Shirotsuki, Yuji Nonaka, Jiro Takano, Keiichi Abe, So-ichiro Adachi, Shohei Adachi and Mutsuhiro Nakao
    Citation: BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2017 11:25
  3. The aim of this study was to clarify the changes in biological measures during autogenic training (AT) sessions and the relationship between these biological measures and the changes in physical and psychologi...

    Authors: Tadashi Kiba, Tetsuya Abe, Kenji Kanbara, Fumie Kato, Sadanobu Kawashima, Yukie Saka, Kazumi Yamamoto, Yasuyuki Mizuno, Junji Nishiyama and Mikihiko Fukunaga
    Citation: BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2017 11:17
  4. Somatization is produced due to the summation of psychological factors, irrespective of the presence or absence of physical factors. A group of diseases with severe pain and other disorders exhibit so-called M...

    Authors: Yuzo Nakamura, Takeaki Takeuchi, Kazuaki Hashimoto and Masahiro Hashizume
    Citation: BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2017 11:16