Psychosomatic Disorders: Disorders in which there is a real physical illness that is caused by psychological factors (usually stress) Somatoform: Disorders in which there is an apparent physical illness, but there is no organic cause Usually people go to the doctor rather than a psychiatrist/psychologist!
Conversion Disorder: Anxiety is converted into physical symptoms (may lose feeling in a limb, paralysis, blindness, deafness, perception of pregnancy) This is what interested Freud! Rare in our time Hypochondriasis: People interpret normal sensations as symptoms of a dreaded disease (headaches, stomach cramps, etc.) May move from physician to physician looking for treatment and diagnosis NOT faking it for attention Relatively common Body dysmorphic disorder: Preoccupation with defects in one’s body When faced with an imperfection, concern about it becomes obsessive
Type of disorder in which conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings Types Dissociative Amnesia: Loss of identity Dissociative Fugue: Involves flight from home and the assumption of a new identity with amnesia for past identity and events Dissociative Identify Disorder (DID)
Two or more distinct identities are said to alternately control a person’s behavior Typically the original personality denies any awareness of the others Usually not violent (not Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde) Personalities have their own names, memories, speaking voices, mannerisms
Is it simply an extension of our own normal capacity for personality shifts? Are clinicians who discover it just triggering role-playing by fantasy-prone people? Are these patients, like actors, convincing themselves of the authenticity of their own role enactments?
SKEPTICS BELIEVERS DID patients also tend to be highly hypnotizable Seem to be localized to time and place Number of cases and personalities (3-12) has been ballooning over time Not very prevalent outside of N. America Nonexistent in Japan and India British consider it a “wacky American fad” Is it a cultural phenomenon created by therapists in a particular social context? Therapists go fishing for identities Distinct brain and body states associated with different personalities Can have different blood pressures! Handedness and visual acuity can change based on the personality!
Psychoanalytic perspective: defenses against anxiety caused by the eruption of unacceptable impulses Learning (behavioral) perspective: behaviors are reinforced by anxiety reduction Maybe it should be included under PTSD? A response to childhood trauma Child abuse is reported in ¾ of cases of DID One of the personalities is often a child “Having the abuse happen to someone else”