Medical professionals do not know the exact cause of somatic symptom disorder.
Factors that might be involved in the development of the disorder include:
- A history of physical or sexual abuse;
- A history of having a serious illness as a child;
- A poor ability to express emotions;
- A parent or close relative with the disorder. Children might learn this behaviour if a parent is overly concerned about disease and/or overreacts to even minor illnesses; and/or
- An inherited susceptibility for the disorder.