- Somatoform disorders are characterized by physical symptoms, which suggest medical diseases, but without organic pathology to support the illness.
- It refers to all mechanisms by which anxiety is translated into physical illness.
- Somatoform disorders include somatization disorder.
Types of Disorder
- Somatization disorder
- This chronic syndrome is characterized by multiple somatic symptoms that cannot be explained medically.
- The physical symptoms are associated with psychological stress.
- Conversion disorder
- A loss or change in bodily function is the result of psychological conflict, allowing the client to resolve the conflict through loss of a physical function.
- The client often exhibits a lack of concern about the severity of the disease (la belle indifferences).
- Sleep disorder
- This is characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep.
- Sleep disorders include hypersomnia or excessive sleepiness, narcolepsy, parasomnias, undesirable behaviors that occur during sleep.
- In sleep disorders, the sleep-wake schedule and circadian rhythm are disturbed.
- This is a person’s unwanted fear or belief that he or she has a serious disease without significant pathology.
- Hypochondrias interferes with client’s work and social relationships.
- Body dysmorphic disorders
- The client is preoccupied with an image defect in appearance when there is no abnormality.
- Client obsesses about imaged bodily defects (facial flaws, heavy buttocks or thighs) and becomes embarrassed about them.
- Pain disorder
- The pain is unrelated to a medical disease.
- The individual experiences severe pain that is in disproportion to the originating source.
- Gender: Female
- Age: Children and older adults
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain in the absence of organic pathology.
- Preoccupation with physical symptoms, disease, physical flaws, and oneself.
- Dependence on addictive substances for relief of pain that is unsubstantiated by physical findings.
- Frequent visits to health care providers.
- Symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.
- Hydrochondriasis is not a conscious decision on the part of the client; they believe that they are ill.
- Impaired adjustment
- Chronic pain
- Sleep pattern disturbance
- Alternative therapeutic interventions may be used, such as therapeutic touch, imaging, and acupuncture.
- Assist the client in identifying and describing in stress he/she experiences.
- Assist the client in monitoring stress and knowing when to intervene.
- Teach the client about medications and to avoid alcohol and other such drugs used to alleviate stress approximately.
- Recognize medical problem.
- Risk to self and others.
- Dependency on addictive medications.
- Withdrawal symptoms related to discontinuation of sedatives, hypnotics, and narcotics.