Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Amateur Pshrink V

I am pretty partial to this disorder too. I feel just like this lady looks in the picture, much of the time. Only doing other things distracts me from sometimes tearing my hair out with tears of despair and hopelessness.
I like all of the DSM disorders, as a matter of fact. I am thinking of collecting them, like baseball cards...

Somatoform disorder (also known as Briquet's syndrome) is a psychological disorder characterized by physical symptoms that mimic disease or injury for which there is no identifiable physical cause or physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, depression, and dizziness. Somatoform disorder is a condition in which the physical pain and symptoms a person feels are related to psychological factors. These symptoms can not be traced to a specific physical cause. In people who have Somatoform disorder, medical test results are either normal or don't explain the person's symptoms. People who have this disorder may undergo several medical evaluations and tests to be sure that they do not have an illness related to a physical cause or central lesion. Patients with this disorder often become very worried about their health because the doctors are unable to find a cause for their health problems. Their symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses and may last for several years. People who have Somatoform disorder are not faking their symptoms. The pain that they feel is real, and they feel what they say they are feeling.

A person faking their symptoms may have factitious disorder (an unknown psychological cause for making oneself sick) or malingering (making oneself sick for personal or monetary gain; i.e. disability, insurance, etc). This is not at all related to the Somatoform Disorder, however.
A diagnosis of a Somatoform disorder implies that psychological factors are a large contributor to the symptoms' onset, severity and duration. It is important to note that Somatoform disorders are not the result of conscious malingering or factitious disorders.
The Somatoform disorders recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association are:
Included among these disorders are false pregnancy, psychogenic urinary retention, and mass psychogenic illness (so-called mass hysteria).
  • Somatoform disorder NOS
Additional proposed somatoform disorders are:
  • Abridged somatization disorder - at least 4 unexplained somatic complaints in men and 6 in women
  • Multisomatoform disorder - at least 3 unexplained somatic complaints from the PRIME-MD scale for at least 2 years of active symptoms
These disorders have been proposed because the recognized somatoform disorders are either too restrictive or too broad. In a study of 119 primary care patients, the following prevalences were found:
  • Somatization disorder - 1%
  • Abridged somatization disorder - 6%
  • Multisomatoform disorder - 24%
  • Undifferentiated somatoform disorder - 79%
In my case, I suspect false pregnancy would be tough to carry out, and right now I´d settle for a reasonable duration of urinary retention prior to wetting my diapers.

But in other words, we can´t explain what is wrong, but we gotta tell the insurance company something, so we made up this fancy title that means ¨we don´t know what is wrong, but this fella is REAALLY SICK!¨

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