It refers to a condition where a patient displays psychological stress in physical ways. It may also be referred to as Conversion Neurosis following Sigmund Freud’s belief that patients had sexual or aggressive conflicts with their physical problems. Co-morbid disorders such as mood, personality and substance abuse are incorporated in this kind of disorder (Durand & Burlow 40).
The main symptoms include: A display of physical problems or problems with the sensory or motor functions controlled by the voluntary nervous system often characterized by paralysis, loss of feeling or difficulties in hearing or seeing; Memory loss, cognitive or intellectual problems in certain occasions; patients with this disorder believe hat something is wrong with them (183).
The psychodynamic cause is evaluated in a four stage process where a patient first experiences a traumatic event. The patient then unconsciously represses the event as it is “unacceptable.” Thirdly, as the anxiety of the event increases, it translates into the conscious but subsequently converted into physical symptoms. Finally the patient receives positive reinforcements such as sympathy and attention. Socio-cultural influences on the other hand tend to occur in lower SES and less educated and; take on familiar symptoms because patients see things their family members have experienced. Biological symptoms base on the following facts; symptoms tend to be more psychopathology; marked biological vulnerability with biological processes; biological is less important than interpersonal factors (185).
Treatment for this disorder relies on the following; clinics; methods follow etiology; identifying and dealing with traumatic events whether present or in memory; removing positive reinforcements and self defeating behaviors which action integrates both the patient and family; a significant response to treatment; hypnosis has no additional support (186).
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