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Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders (2)

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PSYC 1002
Lorena Ruci

Lecture 15: Psychological Disorders Clinical Syndromes: Somatoform Disorders  Somatization disorder o Diverse physical complaints with psychological origin that may lie with trauma, something that happened short-term o Can’t be explained by organic conditions; physically nothing wrong with these people even though they feel pain o People diagnosed with this have gone through series of tests by therapists/psychiatrists to distinguish between having a somatoform disorder and malingering (medical term; fabricating symptoms, usually for financial compensation) o Can report having gastro-intestinal illness, losing function of limbs, neurological conditions (tingling in limbs) o Stress is a major precipitator o Prevalence is low, about 2% of the population will be diagnosed with it; women more likely to be diagnosed  Conversion disorder o Loss of physical function/feeling in a single organ o Report not experiencing the use of their hands, can go blind temporarily, etc. o When they go for check-ups, their body parts work fine o For example, glove anesthesia (no sensation on hands, though there’s nothing wrong with their nerve endings that connect the hand with the arm)  Hypochondriasis o Same category of somatoform disorder o No specific symptoms; to be diagnosed, there is no checklist o General, excessive preoccupation with someone’s health o Engage in catastrophic feeling; feel everything in their bodies strongly (stomach ache seen as an ulcer) o Prone to self-diagnosing, interpret every sign that has to do with their bodily functions as something negative  Etiology o Reactive autonomic nervous system o Personality factors  Histrionic personality (self-centred, dramatic, emotional, excitable) o Cognitive factors  Catastrophic thinking o The sick role: thriving on attention and sympathy from others by always being sick (escape from life)  Comorbidity: two or more illnesses tend to occur together (anxiety and depression: high, depression and schizophrenia: low) Clinical Syndromes: Dissociative Disorders  Controversial (disruptions in sense of identity)  People lose contact with portions of reality; might experience forgetting a part of their past, memory lapses that aren’t justified by an everyday stressor  Cause a breakdown in understanding and knowing who they are  Prevalence: lower than anxiety and depression  Controversial because most of the data we have is from case studies, because less than 1% of people are formally diagnosed  Dissociative amnesia o Memory loss of important personal info (sudden onset) o Might wake up one day and forget what you do, who your family is, who you are, etc. o Caused by traumatic event from earlier in life that is suppressed o Can still perform important functions they acquired/learned before onset of amnesia o Other thought processes not affected as much
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