The following contains information about
  • Anxiety disorders
  • panic disorders
  • phobias
  • obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
Thank you for reading!!


Anxiety Disorders!

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Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses of excessive anxiety. For normal people, anxiety can be helpful feeling when it motivates or warns dangers. But anxiety disorder causes unhelpful and uncontrollable excessive anxiety that seriously
interrupts our lives, including how we think, feel and act.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which someone has repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will occur when not expected. The person lives in fear that another attack will occur.
It's twice as common in woman than in men. Symptoms usually begin before age 25, but sometimes don't appear until age 30, it may occur in children but is often not found until they're older.
Before a diagnosis of panic disorder is made, people with this condition often have had visits to emergency rooms and health care providers for symptoms related to possible heart attack or other physical symptoms.
Symptoms
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing control or impending doom
  • Feeling of choking
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
  • Palpitations fast heart rate, or pounding heart
  • Sensation of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath, panting, dry mouth


A panic attack begins suddenly and symptoms may linger for 1 or more hours afterwards. During a panic attack the person believes they are having a heartattack, "going crazy", or dying. People with panic disorders may have symptoms of alcoholism, depression or drug abuse.

Treatments
The goal of treatment is to help you function with your everyday life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications are the mainstays of treatment. Medications are an important part of the treatment, once you begin taking them you cannot suddenly stop taking them. Antidepressants are the most commonly used medications for panic disorder, and even some anti-seizure drugs may be used in severe cases.

Dissociative disorder


Someone with a dissociative disorder escapes reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy. The person with a dissociative disorder experiences a disconnection and lack of continuation between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity.

The symptoms of dissociative disorders range from amnesia to alternate identities and depend in part on the type you have. Symptoms usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay. Times of stress can temporarily worsen symptoms, making them more obvious. Dissociative disorders cause problems with functioning in everyday life.

Treatment for dissociative disorders may include talk therapy and medication. Although treating dissociative disorders can be difficult, many people learn new ways of coping and lead healthy lives.


watch this video from 8:12 if you want to know about just dissociative disorder.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of dissociative disorders include:

  • Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events and people
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • A sense of being detached from yourself
  • A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal
  • A blurred sense of identity
  • Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work or other important areas of your life

There are three major dissociative disorders defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

  • Dissociative amnesia-The main symptom of this disorder is memory loss that's more severe than normal forgetfulness and that can't be explained by a medical condition. You can't recall information about yourself or events and people in your life, especially from a traumatic time. Dissociative amnesia can be specific to events in a certain time, such as intense combat, or more rarely, can involve complete loss of memory about yourself. It may sometimes involve travel or confused wandering away from your life (dissociative fugue). An episode of amnesia may last minutes, hours, or, rarely, months or years.
  • Dissociative identity disorder-This disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is characterized by "switching" to alternate identities. You may feel the presence of one or more other people talking or living inside your head, and you may feel as though you're possessed by other identities. Each of these identities may have a unique name, personal history and characteristics, including obvious differences in voice, gender, mannerisms and even such physical qualities as the need for eyeglasses. There also are differences in how familiar each identity is with the others. People with dissociative identity disorder typically also have dissociative amnesia and often have dissociative fugue.
  • Depersonalization-derealization disorder-This disorder involves an ongoing or episodic sense of detachment or being outside yourself — observing your actions, feelings, thoughts and self from a distance as though watching a movie (depersonalization). Other people and things around you may feel detached and foggy or dreamlike, and the world may seem unreal (derealization). You may experience depersonalization, derealization or both. Symptoms, which can be profoundly distressing, may last only a few moments or come and go over many years.

Causes

Dissociative disorders usually develop as a way to cope with trauma. The disorders most often form in children (because their still forming their identity) subjected to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse or, less often, a home environment that's frightening or highly unpredictable. The stress of war or natural disasters also can bring on dissociative disorders.




Phobias

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A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common Phobias and fears include closed in spaces, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develope phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develope in adults. If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming. The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it — inconveniencing yourself or even changing your lifestyle. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office. If you have a fear of heights, you might drive an extra twenty miles in order to avoid a tall bridge. Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. Having a phobia doesn’t mean you’re crazy! It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. You can overcome your anxiety and fear, no matter how out of control it feels. While there is no one specific known cause for phobias, it is thought that phobias run in families, are influenced by culture and how one is parented, and can be triggered by life events. Immediate family members of people with phobias are about three times more likely to also suffer from a phobia than those who do not have such a family history. People whose parents either were overly protective or were distant in raising them may be at more risk of developing phobias. Ways that phobia sufferers can work toward overcoming their fears include talking about their fears, refraining from avoiding situations they find stressful, imagining themselves facing their fears (visualization), and making positive self-statements like, "I will be OK".


  • "Normal" Fear vs. Phobias



It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear is an adaptive human response. It serves a protective purpose, activating the automatic “fight-or-flight” response. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves. But with phobias the threat is greatly exaggerated or nonexistent. For example, it is only natural to be afraid of a snarling Doberman, but it is irrational to be terrified of a friendly poodle on a leash, as you might be if you have a dog phobia.
The difference between normal fear and a phobia
Normal fear
Phobia
Feeling anxious when flying through turbulence or taking off during a storm
Not going to your best friend’s island wedding because you’d have to fly there
Experiencing butterflies when peering down from the top of a skyscraper or climbing a tall ladder
Turning down a great job because it’s on the 10th floor of the office building
Getting nervous when you see a pit bull or a Rottweiler
Steering clear of the park because you might see a dog
Feeling a little queasy when getting a shot or when your blood is being drawn
Avoiding necessary medical treatments or doctor’s checkups because you’re terrified of needles
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  • Common types of phobias and fears


There are four general types of phobias and fears:
  • Animal phobias.Examples include fear of snakes, fear of spiders, fear of rodents, and fear of dogs.
  • Natural environment phobias.Examples include fear of heights, fear of storms, fear of water, and fear of the dark.
  • Situational phobias (fears triggered by a specific situation).Examples include fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of tunnels, and fear of bridges.
  • Blood-Injection-Injury phobia. The fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of needles or other medical procedures.

Common phobias and fears

  • Fear of spiders
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear or closed spaces
  • Fear of storms
  • Fear of needles and injections
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of germs
  • Fear of illness or death

Common phobias and fears


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  • Fear of spiders
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear or closed spaces
  • Fear of storms
  • Fear of needles and injections
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of germs
  • Fear of illness or death
Some phobias don’t fall into one of the four common categories. Such phobias include fear of choking, fear of getting a disease such as cancer, and fear of clowns.






  • Signs and symptoms of phobias


The symptoms of a phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Typically, the closer you are to the thing you’re afraid of, the greater your fear will be. Your fear will also be higher if getting away is difficult.

Physical signs and symptoms of a phobia

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • A churning stomach
  • Hot or cold flashes; tingling sensations
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • A churning stomach
  • Hot or cold flashes; tingling sensations
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Emotional signs and symptoms of a phobia

  • Feeling of overwhelming anxiety or panic
  • Feeling an intense need to escape
  • Feeling “unreal” or detached from yourself
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Feeling like you’re going to die or pass out
  • Knowing that you’re overreacting, but feeling powerless to control your fear
  • Feeling of overwhelming anxiety or panic
  • Feeling an intense need to escape
  • Feeling “unreal” or detached from yourself
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Feeling like you’re going to die or pass out
  • Knowing that you’re overreacting, but feeling powerless to control your fear

Symptoms of Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia

The symptoms of blood-injection-injury phobia are slightly different from other phobias. When confronted with the sight of blood or a needle, you experience not only fear but disgust.
Like other phobias, you initially feel anxious as your heart speeds up. However, unlike other phobias, this acceleration is followed by a quick drop in blood pressure, which leads to nausea, dizziness, and fainting. Although a fear of fainting is common in all specific phobias, blood-injection-injury phobia is the only phobia where fainting can actually occur.


  • When to seek help for phobias and fears


Although phobias are common, they don’t always cause considerable distress or significantly disrupt your life. For example, if you have a snake phobia, it may cause no problems in your everyday activities if you live in a city where you are not likely to run into one. On the other hand, if you have a severe phobia of crowded spaces, living in a big city would pose a problem. If your phobia doesn’t really impact your life that much, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. But if avoidance of the object, activity, or situation that triggers your phobia interferes with your normal functioning or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help.

Consider treatment for your phobia if:

  • It causes intense and disabling fear, anxiety, and panic.
  • You recognize that your fear is excessive and unreasonable.
  • You avoid certain situations and places because of your phobia.
  • Your avoidance interferes with your normal routine or causes significant distress.
  • You’ve had the phobia for at least six months.

Self-help or therapy for phobias: which treatment is best?

When it comes to treating phobias, self-help strategies and therapy can both be effective. What’s best for you depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your phobia, your insurance coverage, and the amount of support you need.
As a general rule, self-help is always worth a try. The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel—which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears. However, if your phobia is so severe that it triggers panic attacks or uncontrollable anxiety, you may want to get additional support.
The good news is that [[@/mental/anxiety_therapy.htm|therapy for phobias]] has a great track record. Not only does it work extremely well, but you tend to see results very quickly—sometimes in as a little as 1-4 sessions. However, support doesn’t have to come in the guise of a professional therapist. Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be extraordinarily helpful.

  • Phobia treatment tip #1: Face your fears, one step at a time



It’s only natural to want to avoid the thing or situation you fear. But when it comes to conquering phobias, facing your fears is the key. While avoidance may make you feel better in the short-term, it prevents you from learning that your phobia may not be as frightening or overwhelming as you think. You never get the chance to learn how to cope with your fears and experience control over the situation. As a result, the phobia becomes increasingly scarier and more daunting in your mind.

Exposure: Gradually and repeatedly facing your fears

The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. During this exposure process, you’ll learn to ride out the anxiety and fear until it inevitably passes.
Through repeated experiences facing your fear, you’ll begin to realize that the worst isn’t going to happen; you’re not going to die or “lose it”. With each exposure, you’ll feel more confident and in control. The phobia begins to lose its power.
Successfully facing your fears takes planning, practice, and patience. The following tips will help you get the most out of the exposure process.

Climbing up the “fear ladder”

If you’ve tried exposure in the past and it didn’t work, you may have started with something too scary or overwhelming. It’s important to begin with a situation that you can handle, and work your way up from there, building your confidence and coping skills as you move up the “fear ladder.”

Facing a fear of dogs: A sample fear ladder

  • Step 1: Look at pictures of dogs.
  • Step 2: Watch a video with dogs in it.
  • Step 3: Look at a dog through a window.
  • Step 4: Stand across the street from a dog on a leash.
  • Step 5: Stand 10 feet away from a dog on a leash.
  • Step 6: Stand 5 feet away from a dog on a leash.
  • Step 7: Stand beside a dog on a leash.
  • Step 8: Pet asmall dog that someone is holding.
  • Step 9: Pet a larger dog on a leash.
  • Step 10: Pet a larger dog off leash.
  • Make a list.Make a list of the frightening situations related to your phobia. If you’re afraid of flying, your list (in addition to the obvious, such as taking a flight or getting through takeoff) might include booking your ticket, packing your suitcase, driving to the airport, watching planes take off and land, going through security, boarding the plane, and listening to the flight attendant present the safety instructions.
  • Build your fear ladder. Arrange the items on your list from the least scary to the most scary. The first step should make you slightly anxious, but not so frightening that you’re too intimidated to try it. When creating the ladder, it can be helpful to think about your end goal (for example, to be able to be near dogs without panicking) and then break down the steps needed to reach that goal.
  • Work your way up the ladder. Start with the first step (in this example, looking at pictures of dogs) and don’t move on until you start to feel more comfortable doing it. If at all possible, stay in the situation long enough for your anxiety to decrease. The longer you expose yourself to the thing you’re afraid of, the more you’ll get used to it and the less anxious you’ll feel when you face it the next time. If the situation itself is short (for example, crossing a bridge), do it over and over again until your anxiety starts to lessen. Once you’ve done a step on several separate occasions without feeling too much anxiety, you can move on to the next step. If a step is too hard, break it down into smaller steps or go slower.
  • Practice. It’s important to practice regularly. The more often you practice, the quicker your progress will be. However, don’t rush. Go at a pace that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed. And remember: you will feel uncomfortable and anxious as you face your fears, but the feelings are only temporary. If you stick with it, the anxiety will fade. Your fears won’t hurt you.

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If you start to feel overwhelmed…

While it’s natural to feel scared or anxious as you face your phobia, you should never feel overwhelmed by these feelings. If you start to feel overwhelmed, immediately back off. You may need to spend more time learning to control feelings of anxiety (see the relaxation techniques below), or you may feel more comfortable working with a therapist.


  • Phobia treatment tip #2: Learn relaxation techniques


As you’ll recall, when you’re afraid or anxious, you experience a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and a suffocating feeling. These physical sensations can be frightening themselves—and a large part of what makes your phobia so distressing. However, by [[@/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm|learning and practicing relaxation techniques]], you can become more confident in your ability to tolerate these uncomfortable sensations and calm yourself down quickly. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation are powerful antidotes to anxiety, panic, and fear. With regular practice, they can improve your ability to control the physical symptoms of anxiety, which will make facing your phobia less intimidating. Relaxation techniques will also help you cope more effectively with other sources of stress and anxiety in your life.

A simple deep breathing relaxation exercise

When you’re anxious, you tend to take quick, shallow breaths (also known as hyperventilating), which actually adds to the physical feelings of anxiety. By breathing deeply from the abdomen, you can reverse these physical sensations. You can’t be upset when you’re breathing slowly, deeply, and quietly. Within a few short minutes of deep breathing, you’ll feel less tense, short of breath, and anxious.
  • Sit or stand comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Take a slow breath in through your nose, counting to four. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
  • Inhale again, repeating the cycle until you feel relaxed and centered.
Try practicing this deep breathing technique for five minutes twice day. You don’t need to feel anxious to practice. In fact, it’s best to practice when you’re feeling calm until you’re familiar and comfortable with the exercise. Once you’re comfortable with this deep breathing technique, you can start to use it when you’re facing your phobia or in other stressful situations.


  • Phobia treatment tip #3: Challenge negative thoughts


Learning to challenge unhelpful thoughts is an important step in overcoming your phobia. When you have a phobia, you tend to overestimate how bad it will be if you’re exposed to the situation you fear. At the same time, you underestimate your ability to cope.
The anxious thoughts that trigger and fuel phobias are usually negative and unrealistic. It can help to put these thoughts to the test. Begin by writing down any negative thoughts you have when confronted with your phobia. Many times, these thoughts fall into the following categories:
  • Fortune telling. For example, “This bridge is going to collapse;” “I’ll make a fool of myself for sure;” “I will definitely lose it when the elevator doors close.”
  • Overgeneralization. “I fainted once while getting a shot. I’ll never be able to get a shot again without passing out;” “That pit bull lunged at me. All dogs are dangerous.”
  • Catastrophizing. “The captain said we’re going through turbulence. The plane is going to crash!” “The person next to me coughed. Maybe it’s the swine flu. I’m going to get very sick!”
Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, evaluate them. Use the following example to get started.
Negative thought: “The elevator will break down and I’ll get trapped and suffocate.” Is there any evidence that contradicts this thought?
  • “I see many people using the elevator and it has never broken down.”
  • “I cannot remember ever hearing of anyone dying from suffocation in a elevator.”
  • “I have never actually been in a elevator that has broken down.”
  • “There are air vents in a elevator which will stop the air running out.”
Could you do anything to resolve this situation if it does occur?
  • “I guess I could press the alarm button or use the telephone to call for assistance.”
Are you making a thinking error?
  • “Yes. I’m fortune telling, as I have no evidence to suggest that the elevator will break down.”
What would you say to a friend who has this fear?
  • “I would probably say that the chances of it happening are very slim as you don’t see or hear about it very often.”
Source: Mood Juice
It’s also helpful to come up with some positive coping statements that you can tell yourself when facing your phobia. For example:
  • “I’ve felt this way before and nothing terrible happened. It may be unpleasant, but it won’t harm me.”
  • “If the worst happens and I have a panic attack while I’m driving, I’ll simply pull over and wait for it to pass.”
  • “I’ve flown many times and the plane has never crashed. In fact, I don’t know anyone who’s ever been in a plane crash. Statistically, flying is very safe.”

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Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry, by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety, or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. OCD is the fourth most common mental disorder and is diagnosed as often as asthma and diabetes. In the United States 1 in 50 adults suffer from it. OCD affects children and adolescents as well as adults, adults with OCD sometimes report a childhood onset of the disorder suggesting continuum of anxiety disorders across their life span.

Symptoms
  • Excessive washing or cleaning
  • Repeated checking
  • Extreme hoarding
  • Preoccupation with sexual, violent or religious thoughts
  • Aversion with particular numbers
  • Nervous rituals (opening and closing a door a certain number of times)

These symptoms can be alienating and time-consuming, and often cause severe emotional and financial distress. Those who have OCD may appear paranoid and even psychotic but most often OCD sufferers recognize their obsessions and compulsions are irrational and may become further distressed by the realization.

Some people with OCD experience sexual obsessions that may involve intrusive thoughts or images of "kissing, touching, fondling, intercourse, incest and rape" with "strangers, acquaintances, parents, children, family members, friends, coworkers, animals and religious figures", and can include "heterosexual or homosexual content" with persons of any age. As with any unpleasant thoughts or images, most “normal” people have some sexual thoughts at times but people with OCD may attach extraordinary significance to the thoughts. Furthermore the doubt that accompanies OCD leads to uncertainty regarding whether on might act on the troubling thoughts which results in self-criticism or self-loathing. People with OCD understand that their notions do not correspond with reality; however, they feel that they must act as though their notions are correct.

Some people with OCD perform compulsive rituals because they inexplicably feel they have to, others act compulsively so as to mitigate the anxiety that stems from particular obsessive thoughts. The person might feel that these actions somehow either will prevent a dreaded event from occurring, or will push the event from their thoughts. In any case, the individual's reasoning is so distorted that it results in significant distress for the individual with OCD or for those around them.
Treatments
Behavioral therapy (BT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications should be regarded as first-line treatments for OCD. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been found effective in severe and refractory cases. For some, medication, support groups and psychological treatments fail to alleviate obsessive–compulsive symptoms. These patients may choose to undergo psychosurgery as a last resort. In this procedure, a surgical lesion is made in an area of the brain. Therapeutic treatment may be effective in reducing ritual behaviors of OCD for children and adolescents. Family involvement, in the form of behavioral observations and reports, is a key component to the success of such treatments. Parental intervention also provides positive reinforcement for a child who exhibits appropriate behaviors as alternatives to compulsive responses. After one or two years of therapy, in which a child learns the nature of his or her obsession and acquires strategies for coping, that child may acquire a larger circle of friends, exhibit less shyness, and become less self-critical.


Four Steps for Conquering Obsessive Thoughts and Compulsive Urges

Psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, author of Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior, offers the following four steps for dealing with OCD:
  1. RELABEL– Recognize that the intrusive obsessive thoughts and urges are the result of OCD.
  2. REATTRIBUTE– Realize that the intensity and intrusiveness of the thought or urge is caused by OCD; it is probably related to a biochemical imbalance in the brain.
  3. REFOCUS– Work around the OCD thoughts by focusing your attention on something else, at least for a few minutes. Do another behavior.
  4. REVALUE – Do not take the OCD thought at face value. It is not significant in itself.

Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders are mental illnesses that cause bodily symptoms, including pain. The symptoms can't be traced back to any physical cause. And they are not the result of substance abuse or another mental illness.
People with somatoform disorders are not faking their symptoms. The pain and other problems they experience are real. The symptoms can significantly affect daily functioning. Many people with somatoform disorder also tend to have another anxiety disorder.

Types and Symptoms of Somatoform Disorders

Symptoms and their severity vary depending on the type of somatoform disorder. There are several types of somatoform disorders:
Somatization disorder-This is also known as Briquet's syndrome. Patients with this type have a long history of medical problems that starts before the age of 30.
The symptoms involve many different organs and body systems. The patient may report a combination of:
  • pain
  • neurologic problems
  • gastrointestinal complaints
  • sexual symptoms
Undifferentiated somatoform disorder-This is a less specific version of somatization disorder. A diagnosis requires that a person have one or more physical complaints of unexplained symptoms for at least six months.
Hypochondriasis-People with this type are preoccupied with concern they have a serious disease. They may believe that minor complaints are signs of very serious medical problems. For example, they may believe that a common headache is a sign of a brain tumor.
Body dysmorphic disorder-People with this disorder are obsessed with a physical flaw. Patients may also imagine a flaw they don't have.
The worry over this trait or flaw is typically constant. It may involve any part of the body. Patients can be obsessed with things such as wrinkles, hair, or the size or shape of the eyes, or nose.
Conversion disorder-This condition strikes when people have neurological symptoms that can't be traced back to a medical cause.Stress usually makes symptoms of conversion disorder worse.
some symptoms could be:
  • paralysis
  • blindness
  • hearing loss
  • loss of sensation or numbness
Pain disorder-People who have pain disorder typically experience pain that started with a psychological stress or trauma.
For example, they develop an unexplained, chronic headache after a stressful life event.
Pain is the focus of the disorder-But psychological factors are believed to play a role in the perception and severity of the pain.
People with pain disorder frequently seek medical care. They may become socially isolated and experience problems with work and family life.
Somatoform disorder not otherwise specified-People with this type may have conditions that have features of other somatoform disorders. But they do not meet the full criteria for any other diagnosis.
Conditions that fall into this category include pseudocyesis. This is the mistaken belief of being pregnant based on other signs of pregnancy, including an expanding abdomen; feeling labor pains, nausea.

Treatment of Somatoform Disorders

Patients who experience unexplained physical symptoms often cling to the belief that their symptoms have an underlying physical cause, despite evidence to the contrary. Patients may also dismiss any suggestion that psychiatric factors are playing a role in their symptoms.
A strong doctor-patient relationship is a key to getting help with somatoform disorders. Seeing a single health care provider with experience managing somatoform disorders can help cut down on unnecessary tests and treatments.
The focus of treatment is on improving daily functioning, not on managing symptoms. Stress reduction is often an important part of getting better. Counseling for family and friends may also be useful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may also help relieve symptoms associated with somatoform disorders. The therapy focuses on correcting:
  • distorted thoughts
  • unrealistic beliefs
  • behaviors that prompt health anxiety


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.
People with PTSD re-experience the event again and again in at least one of several ways. They may have frightening dreams and memories of the event, feel as though they are going through the experience again (flashbacks), or become upset during anniversaries of the event.
Symptoms
  • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Recurrent distressing memories of the event
  • Repeated dreams of the event
  • Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Less expression of moods
  • Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
  • Sense of having no future
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated response to things that startle you
  • Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Sleeping difficulties
You also might feel a sense of guilt about the event (including "survivor guilt"), and the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Agitation, or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Paleness
Treatment
Treatment aims to reduce symptoms by encouraging you to recall the event, express your feelings, and gain some sense of control over the experience. Support groups where people who have had similar experiences can share their feelings are helpful.
People with PTSD: may need to treat depression and/or alcohol or substance abuse.
Behavioral therapy is used to treat avoidance symptoms, this can include being exposed to the object that triggers your symptoms until you become used to it and no longer avoid it.