Overreact to ordinary physical sensations and minor abnormalities.
Case of Mr. V, who kept scratching himself due to hypochondriasis and died
at age 25
5% of the general population has hypochondriasis
Health anxiety = hypochondriasis (fear of having an illness) + illness phobia
(fear of contracting an illness)
Health anxiety is heritable, but most of the variance was due to
environmental factors (mostly learned)
Cognitive model for healthy anxiety: 1. Critical precipitating incident 2.
previous experience of illness 3. the presence of negative cognitive assumption
4. The severity of anxiety
Perceiving likelihood of illness and cost, awfulness and burden of illness will
increase health anxiety; perceiving the ability to cope and presence of rescue
factors will decrease health anxiety.
Conversion Disorder (Hysteria)
Physiologically normal people experience sensory or motor symptoms.
Anesthesias: loss or impairment of sensations (the symptom of conversion
disorder) (Aphonia, losing voice; anosmia, losing sense of smell)
Appear suddenly in stressful situations to allow the individual to avoid
certain activity or responsibility.
“Conversion” is coined by Freud, who thought that the energy of a repressed
instinct was diverted into sensory-motor channels and blocked function; in the
other words, anxiety and psychological conflict were believed to be converted
into physical symptoms.
Fraser’s military client’s case of being blind
Hysteria: coined by Hippocrates, who believed that it’s an affliction limited
solely to women. It’s the conversion disorder today.
Case of five Amish girls
Conversion Disorder often develops in adolescence or early adulthood with
undergoing life stress.
Prevalence of conversion disorder is less than 1%; more women than men
Comorbid with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, dissociative disorders,
and personality disorders such as borderline and histrionic disorders
Glove anesthesia: a rare syndrome that individual experiences little or no
sensation in the part of the hand that would be covered by a glove, which does
not make anatomical sense
Across both genders and all age groups