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September 1984

Somatic Symptoms as Family Myth

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The Chicago Medical School/Cook County Children's Hospital (Dr Richtsmeier); and the Department of Family Practice and Psychiatry, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville (Dr Waters).

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(9):855-857. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140470055018

• Three children were treated for persistent somatic complaints for which no organic explanation could be found. Psychosocial factors were largely responsible for the disorders, but the families resisted any consideration of psychosocial influences. An understanding of the families' involvement in the children's symptoms leads to the diagnosis of "family myths." It is important to understand and respect the meaning of the symptoms for the proper diagnosis and treatment in such children.

(AJDC 1984;138:855-857)