Iron Man & Somatic Symptom Disorder

SSD is estimated to occur in 2% of females and .2% of males

Symptoms, Course, and Etiology

Tony Stark has reported numerous physical complaints that last for years. Most often, the complaints involve chronic pain and problems with the digestive system, nervous system, and reproductive system. He has reported physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, abdominal pain. bowel problems, fatigue, and sexual problems. These somatic symptoms that are either very distressing or result in significant disruption of functioning, as well as excessive and disproportionate thoughts, feelings and behaviors regarding those symptoms.


These thoughts have lead to the construction of his suit to protect him from outside causes. Indulgences in alcohol and inadequate attention from his father are suspected causes for the development of this disorder.


The stress and worry of being a protector of many citizens can convert to physical pain that does not correlate with medical explanation. This emotional stress can cause a Stress-Pain cycle that can be difficult to break.

Somatic Symptom Disorder486

Sub Types of SSD

Therapy Options

Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy

This will help Iron Man identify this disorder, challenge his beliefs and excessive thoughts, and try to replace dysfunctional behaviors such as substance abuse used to cope.


Biomedical Treatment.

Studies had shown that the use of drugs such as duloxetine helps to relieve symptoms and distress for the patient.