LewisGale Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



illness anxiety disorder, somatic symptom disorder, anxiety, case reports


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry


Somatic symptom and related disorders (including illness anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder) is a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) replacing somatoform and related disorders in the DSM-4 Text Revision. This classification eliminated the requirement that somatic symptoms must be nonorganic in nature, in an effort to reliably detect more cases of significant health anxiety than previously with DSM-4 criteria. Illness anxiety disorder is a primary anxiety disorder characterized by persistent preoccupation or excessive concern about having or developing an undiagnosed disease despite medical evaluation and reassurance. It is considered a disorder when the preoccupation with health causes clinically significant distress or impairment. The prevalence of illness anxiety disorder is estimated to be approximately 0.75% in a primary care setting and 0.1% in the general population. Studies show IAD to be more common in middle aged adults, females, and widows or divorcees. Little was found on the breakdown of IAD between racial groups. This report details a clinical case of a relatively treatment naive, single african american young adult male with multiple recent emergency room visits presenting with illness anxiety. We discuss diagnostic challenges and acute management in the inpatient setting in this unique patient with an uncommon presentation of an uncommon disorder.

Publisher or Conference

Psychiatric Society of Virginia Fall Meeting