Somatoform Disorder

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Somatoform Disorder Definition Symptoms Cause Diet Regimen Homeopathic Medicine Homeopath Treatment In Rajkot India

The Somatoform Disorder:

Somatoform Disorder


Somatoform disorder is a syndrome of prolonged physical symptoms in the absence of an identifiable organic cause with associated functional impairment in the context of an identifiable stressor. [1]

The somatoform disorders are characterised by repeated presentation with physical symptoms which do not have any adequate physical basis, and a persistent request for investigations and treatment despite repeated assurances by the treating doctors. [2]

People with somatoform disorder have a number of different symptoms that typically last for several years.

Their symptoms can’t be traced to a specific physical cause. In people with somatoform disorder, medical test results are either normal or do not explain the person’s symptoms.

People who have somatoform disorder often become very worried about their health because they do not know what is causing their health problems.

The symptoms of somatoform disorder are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses.

People with this disorder may have several medical evaluations and tests to be sure that they do not have another illness. [3]

Symptoms may include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain in the joints, legs and arms, also chest
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems i.e.:
  • Sometimes somatoform disorder makes it painful for a person to urinate, even if they doesn’t have an infection. [3]

The cause is not known.

In some cases, there may be a problem with the nerve impulses that send signals of pain, pressure also other unpleasant sensations to the brain.

We do know that the pain also problems caused by somatoform disorder are real.

Like many medical problems, somatoform disorder often runs in families. It tends to come and go over time. [3]


The goal in treating somatoform disorder is for a person to be able to live a normal life as much as possible, even though they may still have some pain or other symptoms.

Although there is no known cure, it can be managed.

You may be able to prescribe medicine for some of the symptoms, but in many cases you will not need medicine.

Furthermore, The most important part of the treatment is to call the patient for regular checkups.

Besides this, Patients have to know that how often they needs to see the physician.

They may feel frustrated if their symptoms continue, but remember that somatoform disorder can be very difficult to treat.

Inpatient care:

If your condition is deemed particularly severe, then you may decide that a structured treatment approach, which can include staying at one of the Priory hospitals for the duration of their treatment, would be more effective.

Inpatient treatment allows you to take part in a psychological group programme as well as regular sessions with your consultant.

In terms of the specific treatment options that used, psychotherapy, also known as ‘talk therapy’, is believed to be particularly helpful when trying to improve daily functioning.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT):

CBT is a commonly used talking therapy, which is an action-based therapeutic method that helps you to understand the condition. [3]

Some useful homeopathic remedies are:


Ignatia is the great homoeopathic remedy for lagrande nevrose. In its proving it is a hysterical remedy.

Briefly, its symptoms are great sensitiveness to external impressions. Patients laugh and cry alternatively, the face flushes on the slightest emotion, spasmodic laughter which oftentimes ends in screaming, the globus hystericus is present and so is the clavus hystericus which shows itself as a sharp pain, as if a nail were being driven into the top of the head.

In Ignatia there is an emission of profuse, pale urine and this oftentimes relieves the headache.

There are, in the Ignatia patient, flatulent conditions also contortion of the muscles. The globus hystericus found under a number of drugs, but Ignatia and Asafoetida have it the most prominent.

The convulsive symptoms of Ignatia are as varied as the moods of the drug; there may be only a slight convulsive movement about the throat in drinking, or there may be severe spasms with clenched hands also blue face greatly resembling those of Cuprum.

Other symptoms

The return to consciousness always accompanied by a sigh and a deep inspiration. Fear also grief are prominent symptoms of the hysteria of Ignatia; it is a long suffering grief and the patient aggravate by the constant nursing of it.

Another interesting and, one may say hysterical point about Ignatia the numerous _ contradictory items found in its pathogenesis. Thus we have headache relieved by stooping, soreness of the teeth better by eating, sore throat better from swallowing, fever without thirst and chilliness relieved especially by uncovering.


The cough even contradictory, for the more the patient coughs the more he wants to cough, also it only stop by an effort of the will.

In fact, the Ignatia patient is very much like what Sir James Paget described hysteria to be, namely: It says ‘I cannot.’ ‘I will not;’ but it really is ‘I cannot will.’ Richet says, “all mediums chose among the grandes hysteriques.”


One of the characterizing features of hysteria is the globus hystericus, or the sensation of a ball in the throat. Asafoetida has this symptom very prominently.

It seems with this drug to be a sort of reversed. peristalsis and it is especially the remedy if the nervous symptoms· were in any way due to the checking of habitual discharges.

Another important symptom of Asafoetida is the accumulation of flatus in the abdomen; it passes upwards and causes oppressed breathing.

Owing to this the symptom found that  this ball-like sensation above referred, starts from the stomach and rises to the throat, and it naturally made worse by overeating and by motion.

Other symptoms

It is a bursting feeling, as if everything would come out of the mouth. Hysterical colic is, therefore, well met by Asafoetida. With Asafoetida the patient swallows continually to keep the lump down, and this gulping adds to the difficulty in breathing.

There is a great deal of restlessness and anxiety with Asafoetida and a changeable mental condition. The muscles jerk and twitch. The entire system is over-sensitive.

Hysterical convulsions due to suppression of discharges will often indicate Asafoetida. Predominance of the throat symptoms should lead one to think always of Asafoetida.


Fainting is the great keynote of Moschus. When hysterical attacks are found with fainting, other drugs may be indicated. Asafoetida may be indicated, Cocculus, Ignatia or Nux moschata, but in most cases Moschus will be the simillimum.

It is especially the remedy for the paroxysm. The stimulation of tetanic spasms, the unconsciousness or frequent swooning will point to Moschus. Hughes says no remedy is as good as Moschus for this condition, and Dr J. Heber Smith termed it an indispensable remedy in hysteria.

Muscular twitchings are present and violent spasm or constriction of the chest. She may even turn blue in the face, foam at the mouth and be chilly.

Other symptoms

Moschus, too, has a profuse discharge of pale urine, the globus hystericus, headache and flatulent symptoms. Often the fainting and loss of consciousness will apparently be due to the pressure of gas on the solar plexus of the sympathetic; violent eructations of gas occur in these cases and relieve.

Uncontrollable laughter is also a symptom of Moschus, also the alternate moods of joyfulness and sadness. Sexual desire is increased and symptoms of Nymphomania or Satyriasis may be present.


Hysterical attacks or hiccough may be seen in Moschus, and in the loud eructations in nervous hysterical people it is said to be our best remedy. A mental condition of Moschus is a tendency to scold and the patient scolds himself into a fit.

To sum up, Moschus is indicated by the fainting, by the suffocative attacks by the crying and laughing, globus hystericus, profuse pale urine, and by the sudden attacks of unconsciousness.

It suits in many instances the symptoms, which precede hysteria such as an irritable weakness. Castoreum may benefit those who are on the borderland of hysteria.


Among the animal. remedies-and they are all great producers of nervous symptoms-the spider poisons stand first in the production of symptoms simulating hysteria. Perhaps the most marked of these is the Tarentula Hispana, not the Tarentula Cubensis, which is the carbuncle remedy, but the Spanish spider.

This remedy is useful in hysteria; the paroxysms are apt to feigned, and the patient has immoderate attacks of uncontrollable laughter. The most prominent symptom of the drug, however, is restlessness and trembling of the limbs; the patient compell to keep continually on the move.

There is excessive hyperaesthesia, the spine is sensitive, the ovaries are sensitive, and there is apt to nymphomania. It has found useful in hystero-epilepsy, which, by the way, is quite a rare affection.

Other symptoms

Theridion and Mygale are two of the spider poisons, which may found useful in hysterical conditions; the great predominating sensitiveness to noise will call Theridion to mind, and the chorea-like twitchings will suggest Mygale.

The constant motion of the extremities will easily recognize Tarentula perhaps by the fact that music soothes, by a constrictive headache, and by the feigned fits of uncontrollable laughter.


Platinum has an altogether different form of hysteria than of the animal poisons, and it is quickly and easily characterized by its haughty mental condition. Self-esteem is prominent, and she looks down on everyone.

No other drug, in the Materia Medica, has this symptom as prominent as Platinum. There are also paroxysms of laughter, which are very loud and boisterous; in fact, oftentimes the condition borders on the maniacal. The genital organs are very sensitive; there is apt to titillation, even nymphomania.

It is in these genital cases that it finds its best use. Hysterical spasms will call for Platinum when caused by nervous excitement; there is present constriction of the oesophagus and a suffocative feeling.

Other symptoms

Platinum may easily distinguish from Ignatia by the mental condition above referred to. Ignatia is decidedly undemonstrative, while Platinum is absurdly supercilious.

Melancholic conditions also found under Platinum; the patient is morose and discontented, and has a disposition to weep.

The extreme nervous condition makes her sleepless. Palladium is very similar to Platinum; in many respects it may distinguish by lacking the haughtiness of Platinum and having a tendency to be. continually “slighted.”


Valeriana a remedy largely use in the allopathic school for hysteria, and forms one of the main props of their treatment. As a remedy for hysteria in the homoeopathic sense it has some useful symptoms.

There is a sensation· as if something warm were rising from the stomach; this causes a difficulty of breathing; there is also present fear, tremulousness, and palpitation. With Valeriana there is a general state of nervous excitement; the patient is apt to be joyous, lively, and talkative.

A tendency to flushes of heat is often present. It has also the globus hystericus, and there are many pains stimulating rheumatism. Nervous agitation its most mark symptom, and this together with warm sensation rising from the stomach should distinguish.

The alternations of mood, which are prominent with the remedy, should not overlook. It seems to be the remedy for the hysterical habit.

Nux moschata:

This is also one of our good remedies in hysteria. It is especially adapted to nervous hysterical people who change rapidly from grave to gay, but its great distinguishing features are its sleepiness, its bloating, and its dryness of the mouth.

It has also attacks of fainting; the patient exhaust from the least effort. There is a continued constant nervous tension. The symptoms of bloating, which usually occur after eating.

Other symptoms

Nux moschata also has a dry, nervous, hysterical cough, oppression of the chest and fainting fits. Inclination to faint is quite common with the drug.

Bayes say: “In hysteria, particularly the globus hystericus, few medicines act more promptly.” He recommends the 3 to 6 decimal dilutions. He also says: “In violent hysteric attacks a drop of Rubini’s Camphor on a little lump of sugar every five or ten minutes is invaluable.” This is probably palliative, as Camphor has no special hysterical symptoms.


This remedy has a few marked symptoms, which indicate its usefulness in hysteria. It is especially the remedy in hysterical convulsions with spasms of the glottis.

There is excessive irritability of the mind and body with vascular excitement, semi-stupor with languor and prostration. There is a feeling of a lump in the throat, which cannot swallow, and there is a copious flow of pale nervous urine.

Gelsemium is adapted to both male and female onanists, and corresponds especially to the hysteria of the later class. The rigidity is so characteristic of Gelsemium and usually found in hysterical women who suffer from great nervous excitement, hence the usefulness of that remedy in this condition note.

Other symptoms

Great numbness of the extremities, also fear and apprehension; however, languor and malaise are nearly always present.

This, however, is a common hysterical symptom, and little reliance can place on it as a guide to the remedy. Vesical irritability with constant desire to urinate in hysterical patients well meet by Gelsemium.


The hysterical symptoms of Pulsatilla are quite prominent. It has a constriction in the throat; something there seems to impede speech. There is a constant change in the feelings and symptoms of the patient, and here we have again the profuse watery urine.

There is a melancholia, sadness, and weeping; Pulsatilla patient gushes out her grief anywhere, and seeks sympathy and consolation and seems to made better by it.

The open air, of course, relieves the Pulsatilla patient. Menses are scanty, and the patient complains of constant chilliness. Hysterical attacks at puberty may indicate Pulsatilla.

Other symptoms

Fainting fits are common, and there is apt to be suppression of menses as leading up to the nervous attacks.

Sepia, too, is a prominent remedy for hysteria associated with uterine symptoms but it is easily distinguished by the general symptoms.

Apis has hysteria at puberty, with amenorrhoea and awkwardness; patient drops things, is clumsy.


Belladonna may a remedy in hysteria when there is much boisterous excitement, red flushed face, dilated pupils, and the general symptoms of the drug.

There is a rush of blood to the head during the spasmodic attacks and a wild look.

Hyoscyamus has the desire to uncover and go naked, due to perhaps hyperaesthesia of the skin, the silly laughter and the muscular jerkings; and Stramonium may have its turn when the patient is full of absurd fancies, loquacity, etc., but these remedies are among the infrequent ones in the treatment of hysteria.

Kali phosphoricum:

This remedy, one of the tissue remedies, has found clinically to be one of our good remedies in hysteria. It call for in attacks from sudden or intense emotions, or passions in highly nervous and excitable patients; the globus hystericus is present; there are fits of crying and laughter and yawning.

There may spasms, with unconsciousness. Abdomen, tympanitic and sensitive to slightest pressure. Kali phosphoricum may borne in mind for these symptoms – Nervous dread without any cause, looks on the dark side of everything, sighs and is despondent fidgetiness and trembling.

Other remedies:

Agnus castus may come in where there is lasciviousness. Anacardium, where two wills, one contradicting the other, are present. Cactus has a few hysterical symptoms, as sadness, crying without reason, consolation aggravates, love of solitude, fear of death, whole body feels caged in wires.

Cocculus, hyperaesthesia and faintness. Arsenicum, hysteria and dysmenorrhoea. Sticta, hysteria after loss of blood, and Cannabis Indica. “This remedy,” says Hale, “is more closely allied to the hysterical malady than any drug in our Materia Medica.”

Isolated symptoms may call for isolated remedies, and more can be done by treating hysteria and its manifold phases homoeopathically than by all the nervines known. [3]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Somatoform Disorder?

Somatoform disorder is a syndrome of prolonged physical symptoms in the absence of an identifiable organic cause with associated functional impairment in the context of an identifiable stressor.

Homeopathic Medicines used by Homeopathic Doctors in treatment of Somatoform Disorder?

  • Ignatia
  • Asafoetida
  • Moschus
  • Tarentula
  • Platinum
  • Valereana
  • Nux moschata

What is the main cause Somatoform Disorder?

  • Problem with the nerve impulses
  • Herediatry

What are Somatoform symptoms?

  • Frequent headaches
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain in the joints, legs and arms, and chest
  • Abdominal pain
  1. Psychiatry, Fourth Edition- Oxford Medical Publications – SRG- by Geddes, Jonathan Price, Rebecca McKnight / Ch 32.
  2. A Short Textbook of PSYCHIATRY 7th edition by Niraj Ahuja / Ch 8.
  3. Homeopathy in treatment of Psychological Disorders by Shilpa Harwani / Ch 9.

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