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PSYC 3140 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Somatic Symptom Disorder, Somatization Disorder, Hypochondriasis

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Robert Muller
Study Guide

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Abnormal Psyc: Chapter 7
Chapter 7 – somatic symptom disorders and dissociative disorders
• Somatic disorders – problems take a physical form; physical symptoms have no know
physiological explanation and are not under voluntary control
Somatoform disorders in DSM –IV
• Pain disorder – the onset and maintenance of pain, caused largely by psychological
• Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) – a person is preoccupied with an imagined or
exaggerated defect in the appearance, frequently in the face
• Hypochondriasis – preoccupation with fears of having a serious illness
• Conversion disorder – sensory or motor symptoms without any physiological cause
• Somatization – recurrent, multiple physical complaints that have no biological basis
Illness Anxiety disorder – catastrophic misrepresentations of bodily sensations (DSM-5)
• Cognitive models of anxiety disorders
o Critical precipitating incident
o Previous experience of illness and related medical factors
o Presence of inflexible or negative cognitive assumptions
o Severity of anxiety
Conversion disorder – physiologically normal people experience sensory or motor symptoms,
such as sudden loss of vision or paralysis, suggestion an illness related to neurological damage
or some sort, although the body organs and nervous system are found to be fine
• Hysteria – the term used to describe conversion disorder
• Malingering – individual fakes an incapacity in order to avoid a responsibility
Theories of Conversion disorder
• Psychoanalytic – specific symptoms related to traumatic events
• Behavioural theory and cognitive factors - similar to malingering in that the person
adopts the symptoms for some additional benefit (secondary gain)
• Social and cultural factors – lower incidence of conversion disorder in the last century
• Biological factors – evidence is weak, may be some relationship between brain structure
and conversion disorder
• Bio psychosocial model – triggering event, perpetuating factors, and risk factors
Factitious disorder – people intentionally produce physical symptoms (or sometime
psychological ones)
• In contrast to malingering, the symptoms are less obviously linked to some benefit or
secondary gain
Somatization disorder (DSM-IV) – recurrent, multiple somatic complaint, with no apparent
physical cause, for which medical attention is sought (dropped from DSM-5)
Therapies for somatoform disorders
• Comorbid with anxiety and depression
Dissociative disorders – the individual experiences disruptions of consciousness, memory and
• Dissociative anemia - unable to recall important personal information, usually after some
stressful episode
o Not permanent memory loss, but cannot be retrieved during the episode of
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