Somatization, a tendency to experience and communicate somatic distress
in response to psychosocial stress and to seek medical help for it, poses a
major medical, social, and economic problem. It is most often associated
with depressive and anxiety disorders and constitutes the core of
somatoform disorders. Its persistent form is especially costly and
difficult to prevent and manage. The author discusses the prevalence,
clinical manifestations, etiology, and treatment of somatization and
presents a critical review of somatoform disorders.