Illness Anxiety Disorder
Somatic Symptom & Related Disorder
In Somatoform disorders Psychological problems take a physical form. The Physical symptoms of Somatoform disorders, which have no known physiological explanation and are not under voluntary control, are thought to be linked to Psychological factors, presumably anxiety, and are therefore assumed to be Psychologically caused.
About Illness Anxiety Disorder:
Illness Anxiety Disorder was formerly known as “Hypochondriasis” which is still the term widely used among public. In illness anxiety disorder, physical symptoms are either not experienced at the present time or are very mild, but severe anxiety is focused on the possibility of having or developing a serious disease. If one or more physical symptoms are relatively severe and are associated with anxiety and distress the diagnosis would be Somatic Symptom Disorder. In illness anxiety disorder the concern is primarily with the idea of being sick instead of the physical symptom itself. In any case the threat seems so real that reassurance from physicians does not seem to help.
1. Fear of serious illness.
2. High level of anxiety about health.
3. Repeatedly checking body for signs of illness.
4. Avoid doctor’s appointment.
5. Avoid visit to the hospital for Doctor’s meet.
Individuals with somatic symptom disorders experience physical sensations common to all of us, but they quickly focus their attention on these sensations. Remember that the very act of focusing on your self increases arousal and makes the physical sensations seem more intense than they are. If you also tend to misinterpret these as symptoms of illness, anxiety increases further. Increased anxiety produces additional physical symptom, which creates a vicious cycle. Such disorders are genetic up to some extent. Hyper responsivity might combine with a tendency to view negative life events as un predictable and uncontrollable and therefore to be guarded against all the time. In illness anxiety disorder individuals learn from family members to focus their anxiety on specific physical conditions and illness.
Illness anxiety disorder was common clinical practice in the past to uncover unconscious conflicts through Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and it shows effective results in treatments. Reassurance and education showed effective results in some cases. Reassurance is usually given only briefly by family doctors who have little time to provide.
David H. Barlow, BOSTON UNIVERSITY
V. Mark Durand, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA- ST. PETERSBERG
2. ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY: 9TH EDITION
Davision G.C., Neale, J.M. and Kring, A.M.
3. ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
Allov. L.B.: Riskind, J.H. and Manos, M.J.
4. ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND MODERN LIFE. NY: Harper and Collins. 2000
Carson. R.C. and Butcher. N.J.