Bodily symptoms may be general sensations like fatigue and weakness, or specific sensations like pain and chest tightness. These symptoms may present alone (one symptom) or with others (multiple symptoms). These symptoms range from mild and moderate, to severe. The symptoms typically last for six months or more, though they may not be continuously present. These symptoms can be unrelated to a pre-existing medical condition, or when related, is presented in an intensity or severity that is worse than what is usually expected.
These uncomfortable bodily symptoms cause the person to develop excessive thoughts, feelings, or behaviours, which may include:
- Constant worrying about the seriousness of the symptoms.
- Fearing that the symptoms may be the signs of a severe physical illness.
- Persistently high level of anxiety about health or symptoms.
Excessive time and energy become devoted to these symptoms and health concerns, causing:
- Daily functioning, such as work or family life, to be affected.
- The person to become emotionally distressed, develop depressive or anxiety symptoms.