The exact cause of this disorder is unknown. Research has shown some evidence for genetic as well as environmental factors may play a role.13


Includes a history of physical complaints prior to age 30 which occur over a period of several years. There must be a significant impairment in functioning or a history of resulting medical treatment. After appropriate assessment by a physician, there is a lack of explanation for the reported symptoms or for at least the severity of the complaints.


Treatment typically includes long term therapy. The involvement of a single physician is important as a history of seeking medical attention and ‘doctor shopping’ is common.


Is typically a chronic condition with a variable course. Individuals with this disorder do not experience any significant difference in mortality rate or significant illness.