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Flashcards in Somatic Disorders Deck (20):

Hallmark of somatic disorders

Extreme concern with functioning of body
Either lack of symptoms or focus that is more than actual symptoms warrant


Somatic symptom disorder

One or more somatic complaints that disrupts daily life
Presence of actual symptoms, but focus is disproportionate to symptoms
Persistent (generally more than 6 months)
Children usually focus on 1 symptom, whereas adults are usually more undifferentiated


Doctor shopping

Common behavior in somatic disorders
Mistrust of doctor's report that patient is fine, so patient goes on to the next one


Epidemiology of somatic symptom disorder

Sex: slightly more common in women
Age of onset: early adulthood (most common)


Causes and contributors to somatic symptom disorder

Negative affect (tendency to feel negative emotions more strongly)
Family history of illness
Learned sick role (negative reinforcement for sick behavior)
Secondary gain (attention)
Psychological naivety


Psychological naivety

Don't understand or don't accept the influence of the mind
When you don't believe in psychological disorders, you see psychological issues as physical ones


Treatments for somatic symptom disorder

CBT is marginally effective
Education and reassurance, stress management (decrease physiological symptoms), reducing help seeking behaviors, addressing areas of impairment


Illness anxiety disorder

Preoccupation of having or acquiring a serious illness
Somatic symptoms either mild or not present
Present for 6 months


Subtypes of illness anxiety disorder

Care-seeking type: frequent visits to the physician with procedures and tests used
Care-avoidant type: medical care rarely used


Epidemiology of illness anxiety disorder

Sex: equal
Age of onset: higher rates as people age (older people focus more on body than younger people)


Contributors to illness anxiety disorder

Cognitive misinterpretation of usually normal physical sensations
Learned sick role
Secondary gain
History of childhood abuse or illness
Prior health scare


Treatments for illness anxiety disorder

CBT is marginally effective
Education and reassurance, restructuring beliefs, stress management, exposure (re-create physical sensations of which person is afraid)


Conversion disorder

Neurological symptom in the absence of any physiological cause
Examples of symptoms: paralysis, tics, seizures, speech problems, sensory loss, special sensory symptom (blind, deaf)


Conversion disorder epidemiology

Prevalence: 0.001-0.03% (super rare)
Sex: 2:1 female to male
Age: anytime
Course: often remits within a few weeks (when stressor is relieved, symptoms go away)


Possible causes of conversion disorder

Presence of true disorder
Secondary gain
Mass hysteria
Response to traumatic event


Treatments for conversion disorder

CBT: help person cope with trauma/stressor, reduce secondary gain



False belief of being pregnant
Subjective signs present (morning sickness, temporary lack of menstruation, belief that baby bump is present)


Factitious disorder imposed on self

Fake or deliberately induce illness in self
No apparent external gain other than attention


Factitious disorder imposed on another

Fake or deliberately induce illness on other person
Oftentimes child of person (child abuse)
No apparent external gain other than attention



Deliberately faking a disorder for tangible gain (money, getting out of work, reduced prison sentence, etc.)
Harder to detect with mental symptoms than physical symptoms