The American Psychiatric Association and DSM-5: Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) is too vague to be published in DSM-5
  • Petitioned Dr David J. Kupfe

This petition was delivered to:

DSM-5 Task Force Chair
Dr David J. Kupfe
Head of the Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group
Dr Dimsdale
The American Psychiatric Association and DSM-5

The American Psychiatric Association and DSM-5: Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) is too vague to be published in DSM-5

    1. Kirsten Schultz
    2. Petition by

      Kirsten Schultz

      Madison, WI

People can be diagnosed with SSD if, for at least six months, they’ve had one or more symptoms that are distressing and/or disruptive to their daily life, and if they have one of the following three reactions:

Criteria #1: disproportionate thoughts about the seriousness of their symptom(s);

Criteria #2: a high level of anxiety about their symptoms or health; or

Criteria #3: devoting excessive time and energy to their symptoms or health concerns.

The vague description of SSD to be included in DSM-5 will cause numerous people to be misdiagnosed with a mental disorder due to a physical disorder they live with, including chronic illnesses, cancers, etc. This stigmatizes those with illnesses and can prevent them from accessing proper treatment, especially in illnesses that have been previously thought to be 'all in your head' like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It could also have horrible effects for those on the cusp of disability and disfigurement, or in the health activist/blogging world, trying to fight for awareness and to stop the advancement of their illnesses.

It can also apply to parents or loved ones overly concerned with an illness someone they care for is experiencing. One hates to think of a legitimately ill child being taken away from a caring parent because he or she actually is trying to get something done for the benefit of the child's well-being.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • James Gedeo MONROVIA, LIBERIA
      • over 1 year ago

      This is important to me because I am working on a document to advocate for support for the mentally disorders persons in Liberia. These people are eating on the dump-sites, roaming on the streets, sexually abuse without treatments. Therefore I write to please give me the surity of support to registra me organization that will recruit them from the streets and then rehabilitate their life.

      Thanks, for the communication. I pray for a response.

      Sincerely Yours.

      James Gedeo


    • Alex Nahai BEVERLY HILLS, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      I suffer from actual somatization disorder. Do not take this diagnosis away from me.

    • Jessica Friedman SPRING HILL, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      I am a chronic pain patient

    • Dana Crowe NOTTINGHAM, MD
      • over 1 year ago

      I know people with this disorder, it is most certainly NOT a mental disorder!!!!!!! How uncaring and unnprofessional to dismiss these poor people?!?!?!?!?!?! It is reprehensible to even consider letting this happen!!!!

    • Robert Barnes WESTCHESTER, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because it will clearly pigeon hole patients with real, serious medical conditions, with an erroneous psychiatric diagnosis that will most likely divert medical professional's focus away from their real major medical problems.

      This change to the DSM-5 will re-ignite the inappropriate characterization of these patients as malingerers, possibly leading to higher long-term medical costs and most-certainly added pain and suffering for these misdiagnosed, seriously ill patients.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.