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Unit XII: Abnormal Behavior
Module 69
Other Disorders
Somatic Symptom &
Related Disorders
Somatic Symptom Disorders
• Psychological disorders in which the symptoms take
a somatic (bodily) form without apparent physical
• Two types are:
 Conversion disorders – anxiety is converted into
a physical symptom
 Illness anxiety disorder–
normal physical
sensations are interpreted
as symptoms of a disease
Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative Disorders
• Conscious awareness becomes separated
(dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts,
and feelings.
• Symptoms:
1. Having a sense of being unreal.
2. Being separated from the
3. Watching yourself as if in a
Dissociative Identity Disorder
• A disorder in which a person exhibits two or more
distinct and alternating personalities, formerly
called multiple personality disorder.
Chris Sizemore
DID Critics
• Critics argue that the diagnosis
of DID increased in the late 20th
• DID has rarely been found in
other countries.
• Skeptics argue that DID is roleplaying by people open to a
therapist’s suggestion (Sybil) or
a learned response that
reinforces reductions in anxiety.
Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa
• A condition in which a normal-weight person
(usually an adolescent woman) continuously loses
weight but still feels overweight.
Bulimia Nervosa
• A disorder characterized by
episodes of overeating, usually
high-calorie foods, followed by
vomiting, using laxatives, fasting,
or excessive exercise.
Binge Eating Disorder
• A disorder characterized by episodes of binge
eating, followed by feelings of remorse or disgust
- but without purging or fasting
Reasons for Eating Disorders?
• Families in which weight is an excessive concern
• Low self-esteem, perfectionistic standards,
overly concerned with others’ opinions
• More likely to occur in identical twins rather
than fraternal twins
• Culture, gender, media
• Changes in body size throughout history…
Venus of Willendorf: c. 22,000-21,000 BCE
The Arrival of Marie de' Medici at
Marseilles, by Peter Paul Rubens 1622-26
The Bathers, by Pierre Auguste Renoir
1950s sex symbol Marilyn Monroe
was a size 10
Modern-day fashion model vs.
Holocaust victim
Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty
The goal of the
Operation Beautiful website
is to end negative self-talk
or “Fat Talk.”
Personality Disorders
Personality Disorders
• Characterized by
inflexible and enduring
behavior patterns that
impair social functioning
Antisocial Personality Disorder
• A disorder in which the person (usually men)
exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even
toward friends and family members.
• Formerly, this person was called a sociopath or
Understanding Antisocial
Personality Disorder
• Biological relatives of those with antisocial
tendencies are at increased risk for antisocial
• Some specific genes have been
identified as being more
common in those with
antisocial personality disorder
• Lower levels of stress hormones
as children
Understanding Antisocial
Personality Disorder
• PET scans of 41 murderers revealed reduced activity
in the frontal lobes (impulse control)
• In a follow-up study, repeat offenders had 11% less
frontal lobe activity (planning, organization,
Understanding Antisocial
Personality Disorder
Biopsychosocial Approach: based on a Dutch research study