Somatic Symptom Disorder is a challenging condition for an individual because of the focus it places on the feelings regarding any physical symptoms experienced or not associated with any particular medical disorder. But technology in medicine, including telehealth and health monitoring apps, are helping people living with somatic symptom disorder and other health conditions.
In a nutshell, somatic symptom disorder is when a person centers their thoughts and worries on physical feelings that bother them, such as weakness, pain, short breath, or other symptoms. This focus causes severe limitations to a person’s ability to function productively throughout a typical day because of the overwhelming feelings of worry over physical symptoms.
These physical symptoms may be associated with a medically diagnosed illness or condition or e independent of any diagnosis. In either case, the physical symptoms feel real to an individual; they are not faking these feelings. For more information on somatic symptom disorder, visit https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/blog/somatic-symptom-disorder.
Health Monitoring Apps Role to Play
Someone experiencing these kinds of feelings and symptoms may have Somatic symptom disorder but never know it. That’s where health apps come into play. Someone could visit their doctor several times before a trend is picked up that there is a link between overwhelming worry and physical symptoms.
But, with the help of apps, the time from symptoms to diagnosis can significantly shorten. Specific health and wellness monitoring apps prompt the user to record their daily symptoms and emotional well-being. They have the opportunity to record how they’re feeling both physically and mentally throughout each day.
Which apps should you use?
Before deciding upon an app, talk to your doctor to get their input. Discuss with them how you’ve been feeling and that you’re considering recording your symptoms to pinpoint any potential causes.
Many practitioner offices have implemented modern medical tech to include online wellness resources, fitness apps, wellness apps, and automated health apps. They may have a specific website or app they’d like you to use to record your daily observations.
Another resource worth consulting is your insurance company. Many insurance companies promote their health and wellness websites or apps for their subscribers. Some even provide discounts on insurance premiums to subscribers who actively and consistently engage with the apps.
Diagnosing Somatic Symptom Disorder
A primary care physician diagnoses most people because they are going to the doctor in the first place to seek help with physical symptoms. Individuals with somatic symptom disorder may not realize at first that their level of anxiety over their physical symptoms is disproportionate to the actual physical symptoms.
However, mental health professionals such as psychologists or psychiatrists can also diagnose individuals with somatic symptom disorder. A primary care physician may also refer their patient to a mental health professional to assist them with living with the condition and learn proper coping techniques.
With the proper treatment, individuals who experience this disorder can begin to put their feelings into perspective that is more in line with the level of physical symptoms experienced.
What does a somatic symptom disorder diagnosis look like?
After agreeing upon a way to record your physical and mental health observations over a predetermined amount of time, your doctor may diagnose you. If they offer a somatic symptom disorder diagnosis, they will have based it on one or more of the following indicators:
- High expressions of anxiety over health or physical symptoms experienced
- Excessiveness in thinking about physical symptoms or worry over health
- One too many physical symptoms that have caused obstacles in daily productivity
- A great deal of energy and time ruminating on health and wellness worries
- Symptoms appear, disappear, and reappear; but one sign is always present
- Feelings about symptoms are out of proportion with the actual symptom.