PSYCH257 Lecture Notes - Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder, Myasthenia Gravis

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
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Somatoform Disorder
Description
oCharacterized by persistent worry or complaints regarding physical illness
without supportive physical findings
oClient focuses on the physical signs and symptoms and is unable to control the
signs and symptoms
oThe physical sign and symptoms increase with psychosocial stressors
oThe anxiety is redirected into a somatic concern
oThe client may unconsciously use somatization for secondary gains, such as
increased attention and responsibilities
oStrong presumption linked to psychological factors (DSM IV-
TR)
oMust carefully rule-out medical etiology before presuming
psychological assumptions
oNot under the patients’ conscious control
Types
oSomatization disorder
oUndifferentiated somatoform disorder
oConversion disorder
oPain disorder
oHypochondriasis
oBody dysmorphic disorder
oSomatoform disorder NOS
Somatization disorder: most common
oDescription
Client has multiple physical complaints involving numerous body
systems
The cause of these complaints is presumed to be psychological
oAssessment
Physical complaints of pain
GI symptoms
Sexual symptoms
Signs of anxiety, fear, and low self-esteem may be present
Denial of emotional problems
Suicide threats and gestures are common
History of physical and sexual abuse
oNOTES:
For a client with a somatoform disorder, allow specific time for period
for the client to discuss physical complaints because the client may
feel less threatened if this behavior is limited rather than stopped
completely. Avoid responding with positive reinforcement about
physical complaints.
Hypochondriasis
oDescription
Misinterpret physical sensations as serious illness
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Preoccupation with fears of having a serious disease
No evidence of physical illness exists
Hypochondriasis significantly impair social and occupational
functioning
Pain Disorder
oMost frequent cause of medical assistance
oDepression is common
oDifficult to measure objectively
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
oNormal appearance
oPreoccupation with imagined defective body part
Mirror checking
Camouflaging
Overwhelming emotions of disgust, shame and depression
oMay lead to frequent plastic surgery
oMen – compulsive body building
oWoman – skin, weight, body parts
Conversion Disorder
oDescription
Conversion disorder is a mental health condition in
which a person has blindness, paralysis, or other
nervous system (neurologic) symptoms that cannot be
explained by medical evaluation.
A physical symptom or a deficit suggesting loss or altered body
function related to psychological conflict of a neurobiological disorder
Most common symptoms:
Blindness
• Deafness
Paralysis
Inability to talk
Pseudo-epilepsy
No organic cause
Symptoms are beyond the clients conscious control
Childhood physical or sexual abuse is common
May have origin in medical disorder that gets exaggerated
oAssessment
La belle indifference:
Unconcerned for symptoms
Lack of emotional concern for symptoms
Common Medical Causes to Rule Out
oMultiple Sclerosis
oBrain tumor
oHyperthyroidism
oHyperparathyroidism
oLupus
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