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psych2030B - exam 2 notes.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2030A/B
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Spring

Description
1EXAM 2CHAPTERS 5 6 7 10 12Chapter 5Somatoform and Dissociative DisordersIntroSomatoform Disorders soma means body and the problems that preoccupy these people seem to initially be physical disordersHowever there is usually no identifiable medical condition causing the physical complaintsoIn other words the pathological concerns of the individual are with the appearance or functioning of their bodies however there is usually a lack of any identifiable medical concernreasonDissociative experiences or dissociation mild sensations that most people experience occasionally such as slight alterations or detachments in consciousness or identityDissociative Disorders disorders in which individuals feel detached from themselves or their surroundings and reality experience and identity may disintegrateoEx They may lose their identity assume a new onelose their memory or sense of reality and are unable to functionHistorically somatoform and dissociative disorders were strongly linked and used to be categorized under one general heading called hysterical neurosis and were thought to occur primarily in womenSomatoform DisordersThere are 5 basic somatoform disordersoHypochondriasis somatisation disorder conversion disorder pain disorder and body dysmorphic disorder each are described belowIn each of these disorders individuals are pathologically concerned with the appearance or functioning of their bodiesHypochondriasisHistorically to the Greeks hypochondria was the region below the ribs and the organs in this region affected our mental stateHypochondriasis severe anxiety is focused on the possibility of having a serious diseaseoThe threat of disease seems so real to the individual that reassurance from doctors does not seem to help 2Case studyKristen 42 yr old married mother who presented with a persistent fear of breast cancerThe onset of her disorder occurred after a close female relative developed breast cancer and had a mastectomyKristen began visiting her doctor several times a month for breast examinations in the fear that a lump had developed since the last visitHer concerns began interrupting her socialwork lifeDisorder criteria summaryhypochondriasisoPreoccupation with fears of having a serious diseaseoPreoccupation persists despite appropriate medical reassuranceoPreoccupation is not of delusional intensity and is not restricted to the concern over physical appearanceoClinically significant distress or impairments because of preoccupationoDuration of at least 6 monthsClinical descriptionHypochondriasis shares many features with anxiety and mood disorders particularly panic disorderoIncluding similar age of onset personality characteristics etcThis disorder is characterizes by anxiety or fear that one has a serious diseaseIndividual is preoccupied with bodily symptoms misinterpreting them as indicative of illness or diseaseSome individuals focus on normal bodily functions heart rate or perspiration others focus on minor physical abnormalities cough or itchReassurances from numerous doctors that the individual is healthy have only a shortterm effect and often worries and anxiety return within days or even hoursKey distinctiondifferentiation to rememberoIndividuals who have a marked fear of developing a disease are classified as having an illness phobia oIndividuals who mistakenly believe they have a disease are diagnosed with hypochondriasisIndividuals with high disease conviction are more likely to misinterpret physical symptoms and display higher rates of checking behaviourscore feature of hypochondriasisHypochondriasis focuses on a longterm process of illness and disease Statistics3Although historically considered one of the hysterical disorders unique to women the sex ratio is actually 5050 equal between men and womenHypochondriasis is spread fairly evenly across various phases of adulthood and can emerge at any time in lifeoPeak age periods are found in adolescents middle age 4050s and after 60There are some culture specific syndromes that appear similar to hypochondriasisoKorothe belief and serve anxietypanic that the genitals are retracting into the abdomenMost victims of this disorder are Chinese malesoDhatprevalent in India and is the anxious concern about losing semen associated with physical symptoms such as dizziness weakness and fatigueoHot sensations in the head or a sensation of something crawling in the head is specific to African patientsCausesFaulty interpretations of physical signs and sensationsHypochondriasis is basically a disorder of cognition and perception with strong emotional contributionsIndividuals tend to show enhanced perceptual sensitivity to illness cues they also tend to interpret ambiguous stimuli as threateningIndividuals with hypochondriasis take a better safe than sorry approach to dealing with minor physical symptoms by getting their symptoms checked out oftenHypochondriasis runs in families suggesting a possible genetic contributionOthers suggest that individuals who develop hypochondriasis have learned from family members to focus their anxiety on specific physical conditions and illnessoEx learning experiences that involved being rewarded by parents when the child expressed bodily complaints being allowed to miss schoolSeems to develop in the context of stressful life eventsTreatmentCognitive behavioural therapy is most effective Treatment focused on identifying and challenging illnessrelated misinterpretations of physical sensationsPatients are also coached to seek less reassurance regarding their concerns
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