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Transcript of Somatoform disorders
Somatoform Disorders: Overview
Some psychological disorders can make people believe they are ill, when in fact there is nothing physically wrong with them. These beliefs can be so strong in some people that they can manifest as symptoms the patient will experience.
However, these symptoms lack a physical cause. A disorder in which someone believes they are physically ill, but are not is known as a somatoform disorder. The illness is all in the patient's mind.
This is a well-known
disorder in which a patient worries excessively, and constantly about becoming ill.
It sounds similar to an anxiety disorder, but the worry about illness is what sets it apart.
People with this disorder will try to interpret any thing they can as being a result of an illness, a sore back, a muscle cramp, a bruise, anything can be blown out of proportion into something much greater.
In some cases symptoms will not even exist, and instead are imagined. They will also frequently visits doctors or clinics in an effort to find out what "disease" they have.
What is hypochondria
somatization disorder a patient will complain of specific physical symptoms, like pain, nausea, trouble catching their breath etc.
People with this condition will
often visit doctors excessively, much like hypochondriacs.
However, unlike hypochondriacs these
patients show less worry about their symptoms and tend to be overly dramatic when describing them,
"oh it's absolutely unbearable..."
They become emotionally dependent on their physicians, and will often become angry or threaten suicide to get attention.
Much like hypochondriacs these patients don't see a connection between anxiety and their "symptoms"
Conversion disorder is limited to functions controlled by the somatic nervous system (voluntary nerves). This disorder is also not as common as it was in the past.
Symptoms involve the loss of motor or sensory functions. A person may experience something like a sudden onset of blindness without any physical cause. This condition is often comorbid with other conditions like depression, it is also common during periods of severe stress. Patients often do not seem worried about the condition due to having subconscious knowledge that there is nothing wrong.
The symptoms will also disappear if someone is under hypnosis, asleep, under anesthesia, or unconscious.
School baffled by 12 girls' mystery illness
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
In this condition a patient will become obsessed with some sort of perceived flaw in their appearance. This obsession grows until it begins to interfere with functioning because the person is too frightened to function in public out of fear of ridicule of this "flaw". The flaw of course is non-existent, however it is very real to the person experiencing the symptoms.
These people will often resort to plastic surgery in an effort to fix the problem. However, this only increases the problem as they are never satisfied with the results which lead to further surgeries.
What is body dysmorphic disorder
Causes of Somatoform Disorders
There are various views over what causes somatoform disorder. A psychodynamic perspective would argue that these disorders arise from repressing traumatic memories or unacceptable impulses. As a result the body develops these physical symptoms as a way to cope with the struggle occurring in the subconscious. A behaviorists would argue that it is all about reinforcement of behavior. The patient gets attention from doctors (reward) and also get to avoid the stress that causes the condition. Cognitive psychologists would argue that it is distorted thinking at work, allowing small issues to dominate their thoughts and cause the symptoms.
Mirror, Mirror Body Dysmorphic Disorder pt. 1