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PSYC 3140 (266)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8 textbook

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York University
PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

somatoform disordershe experienced physiological symptoms that Breuer argued were the result of painful memories or emotions she was not able to confrontdissociative disorders in which people develop multiple separate personalities or completely lose their memory for significant portions of their livesSome theorists consider both of these sets of disorders to be the result of an extreme form of escape used by some people facing traumatic experiences or intolerable distress This form of escape is known as dissociation a process in which different parts of an individuals identity memories or consciousness become split off from one anotherSomatoform DisordersThe somatoform disorders are a group of disorders in which people experience significant physical symptoms for which there is no apparent organic causethey truly experience the symptoms and the symptoms pass only when the psychological factors that led to the symptoms are resolvedThe diagnosis of somatoform disorder is easier when the psychological factors leading to the development of the symptoms can clearly be identified or when physical examination can prove that the symptoms cannot be physiologically possiblepseudocyesis or false pregnancy in which a woman believes she is pregnant but physical examination and laboratory tests confirm that she is notDistinction Between Somatoform and Related Disorderspsychosomatic disorders which are medical disorders in which people have an actual physical illness or defect that can be documented with medical tests and that is being worsened by psychological factorsmalingering in which people fake a symptom or disorder to avoid an unwanted situationan individual with a somatoform disorder subjectively experiences the symptoms but the symptoms have no organic basisfactitious disorders in which a person deliberately fakes an illness to gain medical attention Factitious disorders are also referred to as Munchhausens syndromeseveral cases of factitious disorder by proxy have become known In these tragic cases parents have faked or even created illnesses in their children to gain attention for themselvesParents with factitious disorder by proxy may be very adept at hiding what they are doing to their children especially if they have a medical backgroundSomatoform disorders come in five types conversion disorder somatization disorder pain disorder hypochondriasis and body dysmorphic disorder Except for body dysmorphic disorder each of these is characterized by the experience of one or more physical symptoms Body dysmorphic disorder involves a preoccupation with an imagined defect in ones appearance that is so severe that it interferes with ones functioning in lifeConversion DisorderThe most dramatic type of somatoform disorder is conversion disorder People with this disorder lose functioning in a part of their bodies apparently because of neurological or other medical causes ex blindness paralysisConversion disorder typically involves one specific symptom Usually the symptom develops suddenly following an extreme psychological stressorfeature of conversion disorders is la belle indifference the beautiful indifferencepeople appear completely unconcerned about the loss of functioning they are experiencing Theories of Conversion Disorder Conversion disorder was formerly referred to as conversion hysteria after the Greek word hystera for womb
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