8 somatic symptom and dissociative disorders

Psychology homework help
Dissociative Disorders and Trauma
8 somatic symptom and dissociative disorders

 

learning objectives 8

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· 8.1 What are somatic symptom disorders?

· 8.2 What is illness anxiety disorder?

· 8.3 What is conversion disorder (functional neurological symptom disorder)?

· 8.4 What is the difference between a factitious disorder and malingering?

· 8.5 What are the primary features of dissociative disorders?

· 8.6 What is depersonalization/derealization disorder?

· 8.7 What is dissociative amnesia?

· 8.8 What is dissociative identity disorder?

Have you ever had the experience, particularly during a time of serious stress, when you felt like you were walking around in a daze or like you just weren’t all there? Or have you known people who constantly complained about being sure they had a serious illness even though medical tests failed to show anything wrong? Both of these are examples of mild dissociative and somatic symptoms experienced at least occasionally by many people. However, when these symptoms become frequent and severe and lead to significant distress or impairment, a somatic symptom or dissociative disorder may be diagnosed. Somatic symptom disorders (formerly known as somatoform disorders ) and dissociative disorders appear to involve more complex and puzzling patterns of symptoms than those we have so far encountered. As a result, they confront the field of psychopathology with some of its most fascinating and difficult challenges. Unfortunately, however, we do not know much about them—in part because many of them are quite rare and difficult to study.

As we have seen ( Chapter 6 ), both somatic symptom and dissociative disorders were once included with the various anxiety disorders (and neurotic depression) under the general rubric neuroses, where anxiety was thought to be the underlying cause of all neuroses whether or not the anxiety was experienced overtly. But in 1980, when DSM-III abandoned attempts to link disorders together on the basis of hypothesized underlying causes (as with neurosis) and instead focused on grouping disorders together on the basis of overt symptomatology, the anxiety, mood, somatic symptom, and dissociative disorders each became separate categories.

 

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