Somatic Disorders have the potential to be difficult conditions to live with. They often cause functional impairment and can impact several areas of life.

Fortunately, treatment is available, with the aim always being complete recovery. But there are certain things that people can do to maximise their chances of attaining recovery.

In this article, we take a look at 10 tips for living with Somatic Disorders. It is worth remembering that this is a broad overview, and each tip may not be relevant for each singular somatic disorder.

Somatic Disorders can have a significant impact on day-to-day life

1. Remember it isn’t all in your head!

A common, yet unfortunate, misconception is that Somatic Disorders aren’t “real” conditions and that they don’t need any treatment.

However, this is not correct! These conditions do exist, the symptoms are real, and they can be treated.

2. Be motivated to change

It can be very difficult when you have a Somatic Disorder to believe that change is possible. Sometimes, you’ll feel stuck.

However, try and enter treatment with an open mind. The evidence suggests that recovery is possible. Entering treatment with a can-do attitude can be very helpful!

3. Don’t be afraid of taking medication

Some people are reluctant to take medication for a Somatic Disorder. However, they do have the potential to be very effective.

You could also look for an option like the antidepressant Duloxetine – as this can treat both pain and mental health! Therefore, you can consider your options.

4. Be open with a therapist

Talking therapy forms a key part of treatment for Somatic Disorders. There are a wide range of types of therapy that you can try.

However, if you do engage with therapy, make sure you are open and honest with your therapist. This will help you to build up a strong rapport.

5. Practice stress management

Several Somatic Disorders are linked to stress. Therefore, a helpful measure to help your condition is to try relaxation techniques.

For instance, this could include exercise, deep-breathing, or wellbeing. This can aid your overall health.

6. Educate yourself on Somatic Disorders

A very effective thing you can do is to educate yourself on Somatic Disorders. Knowing about these conditions can be helpful.

There is plenty of information available online. You can also read Mental Health General’s section on Somatic Disorders – with plenty of information being listed there.

7. Be treated for comorbid conditions

Somatic Disorders are notorious for co-existing alongside other mental health conditions. For example, those with these disorders often have Depression or Anxiety too.

Therefore, remember to get treatment for any mental health condition that you have. By seeking comprehensive treatment, it should aid your overall mental health.

8. Look out for serious warning signs

Sadly, there is a risk of suicide for those with Somatic Disorders. For example, a hospital-based study found that 68% of a group of patients with Somatic Disorders reported wishing to be dead [1].

Therefore, remember to look out for yourself, and if you are thinking of harming yourself, make sure you reach out to someone to discuss your feelings.

9. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs

It is advisable that you avoid alcohol and recreational drugs when you are dealing with Somatic Disorders. These can make symptoms get worse.

Instead, try and eat and drink healthily! This can aid your overall wellbeing and keep your mind clear.

10. Don’t give up

Remember to not give up! Treatment can be difficult and long-lasting, but over time you can get better and recover.

The aim will be for long-term recovery, so that your symptoms have completely disappeared, leaving you to enjoy your life normally.

See Also

  1. Somatic Disorders: Everything You Need to Know
  2. What Are The Different Types of Somatic Disorders?
  3. What Are The Symptoms of Somatic Disorders?
  4. What Are The Causes of Somatic Disorders?
  5. How are Somatic Disorders Diagnosed?
  6. How Can Somatic Disorders be Treated?
  7. What is the Prognosis for Somatic Disorders?
  8. 10 Tips for Living With Somatic Disorders
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References

[1] Manoj, S., Anil, K., Ravichandra, K., Dilip, MR., Ganesh, K. & Chandran, M. (2018). Suicidality in somatization and undifferentiated somatoform disorders: A hospital-based study. Archives of Medicine & Health Sciences. 6 (1): p36-39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jpsychores.2020.110290.