This paper aims at describing diagnostic criteria for Somatic Symptom Disorders in the new DSM-5. The DSM-5 has preserved some core features of the earlier DSM versions, such as the atheoretical approach and the hierarchical rule, and has substantially changed the category of DSM-IV Somatoform Disorders by eliminating Hypochondriasis, grouping the main syndromes into two categories of Somatic Symptom Disorder and Illness Anxiety Disorder, and moving Body Dismorphic Disorder in the Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder category. This new classification has caused much criticism from the methodological as well as content perspective, highlighting the risk of over-pathologizing ordinary somatic sensations, providing psychiatric stigma to severe medical diseases, and paying more attention to Big Pharma than clinical utility. Some alternative criteria are then reported, as those included in the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) and the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCRP).
Keywords: Diagnosis, somatic symptom disorder, DSM-5, psychosomatics, somatization