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Lecture 5

PSYC 235 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Social Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Hypochondriasis


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 235
Professor
Meredith Chivers
Lecture
5

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Psych 235, Abnormal
Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders
Soma meaning body
- People who are preoccupied with their health or have anxiety with their health;
threats to health, body figure ect.
Hypochondriasis: An Overview
Defining ft.:
-Physical complaints w/o a clear cause
- Severe anxiety focussed on the possibility of having a serious disease
- Strong disease conviction (that what they are thinking and feeling is true)
- Medical reassurance does not seem to help
- Steven Taylor, clinical psychologist at the university of B.C is well known for work in
this area.
Facts & Stats
- Good prevalence data are lacking
- Onset at any age (but clustering) -- not often in children but can happen), and runs a
chronic course
Random notes: being exposed to real illness makes people more vigilant and can lead to
a severe social anxiety disorder.
- Little is known about the prevalence of hypochondriasis in the general population
- Approximately 3% of medical patients may meet criteria for hypochondriasis and the
sex ratio is 50:50.
- Hypochondriasis may emerge at any time, with peak periods in adolescence, middle
age (40s and 50s) and after age 60
- Predispositions to anxiety are the initiators that are activated by life events, which can
lead to hypochondriasis.
-Koro is a culture-specific variant of hypochondria’s found mostly in Chinese males, and
reflects the belief, sometimes accompanied by severe anxiety that the genitals are
retracting into the abdomen.
- In india, males often show concern about losing semen; a disorder called dhat.
Causes and Treatment
Causes
- cognitive perceptual distortions
- familial history of illness
Treatment
- Challenge illness-related misinterpretations
- Provide more substantial and sensitive reassurance
- Stress management and coping strategies
Therapy
- Little known about treating hypochondriasis
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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