Somatic Symptom Disorder: Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder a child must display a severe preoccupation with having a physical illness. She must interpret physical symptoms—like headaches or stomach aches—as indications of something far more serious, and be so anxious and distracted that it interferes with school, home life, and social development. Before concluding that it’s a disorder a doctor will do a physical examination and appropriate laboratory work to make sure that the child is not actually ill.