The nurse is caring for a patient with a history of malingering. The nurse understands that malingering differs from somatic symptom disorders in that the former:
•People who malinger have no real physical symptoms or grossly exaggerate relatively minor symptoms. Their purpose is an external incentive or outcome such as financial compensation, obtaining drugs, avoiding work, or to gain sympathy. People who malinger can stop the physical symptoms as soon as they have gained what they wanted.
•In malingering disorders, people willfully control the symptoms. In somatic symptom disorders, patients do not voluntarily control their physical symptoms. Also patients with somatic symptom disorders are convinced that they harbor serious physical problems despite negative results during diagnostic testing.