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Dissociative Disorders and Somatoform Disorders


Dissociative Disorders and Somatoform Disorders Dissociative & Somatoform Disorders Diagnosing It is possible that the person is attempting to fake their ailment to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dissociative Disorders and Somatoform Disorders

Dissociative Disorders and Somatoform Disorders
Dissociative Somatoform Disorders Diagnosing
  • It is possible that the person is attempting to
    fake their ailment to get out of being punished
    for their inappropriate actions or crime, or to
    gain benefits. (ex. Develop amnesia about an
  • With some of these disorders there is no
    biological basis for their symptoms, and yet they
    have these symptoms develop involuntarily or

Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative Amnesia
  • Partial or total loss of important personal
    information after a stressful or traumatic event.
    They may forget information such as their name,
    address, friends, and relatives, but may remember
    necessities of everyday life such as how to read
    write or drive.
  • There are five types of dissociative amnesia,
    localized (most common, lose ability to recall
    eve that happened over a short period of time),
    selective (inability to remember certain details
    of an event), generalized (inability to remember
    anything about ones past life), systematized
    (loss of memory for only selected types of
    information), continuous (least common, inability
    to recall any events that have occurred between a
    specific time in the past and the present time).
  • More common with people 50 and older.

Dissociative Fugue
  • Involves confusion over personal identity (often
    involving the partial or complete assumption of a
    new identity) accompanied by unexpected travel
    from home.
  • Involves a short period away from home, and an
    incomplete change of identity.
  • Recovery is generally abrupt and complete.

Author Agatha Christi suffered from a
dissociative fugue state in 1926 when her car was
discovered and she wasnt. Ten days later she
was found in a hotel under the name of a woman
who her husband had an affair with.
Depersonalization Disorder
  • Characterized by feelings of non-reality
    concerning the self and environment. It is only
    diagnosed when the detachment cause major
    impairments in social or occupational
  • Person feels as though their body is distorted,
    or that the environment has changed, that they
    are living out a dream, or they feel detached.

Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Dramatic condition in which two or more distinct
    personalities appear in one person.
  • Only one personality is evident at a time, and
    the alternation of personalities usually produces
    amnesia in the personality that has been
    displaced. The personalities may be aware of the
    others however.

Dissociative Identity Disorder 2
  • Generally the personalities differ from one
    another, and can be the exact opposite.
  • The disorder is much more prevalent in women, and
    reports of childhood physical or sexual abuse,
    depression, and anxiety are common. Generally
    the disorder develops in childhood, but many
    times it goes undiagnosed until the person is

Dissociative Identity Disorder 3
  • It is very controversial because before the book
    and movie Sybil, there were only 200 cases
    reported worldwide, now there are 6000 cases
    reported each year.

Treatment of Dissociative Disorders
  • There are no medications that treat dissociative
    disorders, but instead medication that treats the
    anxiety or depression that may accompany it.
  • Typically psychologists have used supportive
    counseling, hypnosis, and personality
    reconstruction to treat the disorder.
  • With many of the disorders, the recovery is
    spontaneous and abrupt.

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Somatoform Disorders and their Impact
  • They often involve complaints of physical
    symptoms that closely mimic authentic medical
    conditions. Even though there are typically no
    physiological reasons for the symptoms, there
    usually are not voluntary.
  • The person with the condition really believes
    that an actual physical condition exists. This is
    different than the malingering (faking), or
    factitious (induced) disorders.
  • There are often different complaints by different
    cultures that have their root in the same
    psychological basis. In African American and
    many other minority cultures the complaints tend
    to include heat, crawling sensations, and

Somatization Disorder
  • Person complains of bodily symptoms that have no
    physical symptoms.
  • What must be necessary to be diagnosed
  • Must have four pain symptoms in different sites
    such as the back, head, and extremities.
  • Two gastrointenstinal symptoms, such as nausea,
    diarrhea, and bloating.
  • One sexual symptom
  • One pseudoneurological symptom, such as
    conversion symptoms, amnesia, or breathing
  • People with somatization disorder tend to
    constantly shop around for doctors, and have
    numerous unnecessary operations.
  • It is much more common amongst females, African
    Americans, and those with less than a high school

Conversion Disorder
  • Person will complain of physical problems, or
    impairments of sensory or motor functions, such
    as paralysis, loss of feeling, and impairments in
    sight or hearing without an organic cause.
  • Many times the symptoms such as psychogenic
    seizures, and dizziness occur after being
    presented with a significant stress.
  • Often difficult to distinguish the difference
    between a conversion disorder and a real physical
    problem, as well as those that are faking.

Pain Disorder
  • Characterized by reports of severe pain that may
    1) have no physiological or neurological basis,
    2) be greatly in excess of what would be expected
    in that type of injury, 3) linger long after a
    physical injury has healed.
  • They often make trips to the doctor and become
    drug or medication abusers. They are generally
    much more vague about their pain and its

  • Persistent preoccupation with ones health and
    physical condition even in the face of physical
    evaluations that reveal no organic problem.
  • Includes fear of having a disease, fear of death
    or illness, tendency toward self-observation, and
    oversensitivity to bodily sensations.
  • 4-9 of medical patients have this disorder, and
    they seemingly constantly seek medical attention.
  • Predisposing Factors include history of
    physical illness, parental attention to illness,
    low pain threshold etc.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Involves a preoccupation with some imagined
    defect in a normal-appearing person, or an
    excessive concern over a slight defect.
  • Often goes undiagnosed because the person is too
    embarrassed to talk about the problem.
  • Commonly focuses on bodily features such as a
    lack of hair, size or shape of nose, face, or
  • Even after they have received treatment (could be
    plastic surgery) they still see the defect.

Treatment for Somatoform Disorders
  • They have been treated with a variety of
  • Psychodynamic Use psychoanalysis and hypnosis,
    and Freud theorized that the person had to relive
    the feelings that were associated with the
    traumatic event.
  • Behavioral Patients are forced to be exposed to
    and confront people with their imagined defects,
    and read information about it as well.
  • Biological Anti-depressants have also been
    utilized for some somatoform disorders, while
    increased activity has been a solution for
    conversion disorder.
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