Somatoform Disorders

  • It refers to a psychological condition which involves the presence of physical symptoms even though the individual is not suffering from any physical diseases.
  • The individual also suffers from psychological difficulties. In this condition, the individual continuosly complains and reports physical symptoms which has no biological cause.

Types of somatoform disorders:

Pain Disorder-

  • It includes reports of extreme and incapacitating pain, either without any biological symptom which can be identified, or the report might be exaggerated and greatly in excess of what might be expected to accompany the physical symptoms.
  • People’s manner of interpretation of the pain greatly influences their overall adjustment.

Somatisation Disorder-

  • Individuals who suffer from this particular disorder always have multiple and recurrent or chronic bodily complaints. However, these complaints are often presented in a dramatic and exaggerated manner. 
  • Common symptoms involve headaches, fatigue, palpitations, fainting, vomiting and allergies.
  • Individuals believe that they are sick, provide long and detailed reports of their illness and take large quantities of medicine. 

Conversion Disorder-

  • The most frequent symptom of this specific psychological disorder is the reported loss of a part or all of some basic bodily functions.
  • Other symptoms include paralysis, blindness, deafness and difficulty in walking. These symptoms happen after a stressful experience and may be exhibited quite suddenly.


  • This diagnosis is given to those patients who have a persistent belief that the person is suffering from a serious illness.
  • Medical reassurance is given. There are no physical findings and the person also fails to intentionally develop the disease.
  • Despite all this, the individual still believes that he/she is chronically ill. Individuals suffering from this disorder are known as Hypochondriacs. They have an obsessive preoccupation and concern of their bodily organs and they continuously worry about their health.

Dissociative Disorders

  • Dissociation is the term which is used to refer to the severance or breakage of the connections between ideas and emotions and self and reality.
  • Dissociation involves many feelings of unreality, enstrangement, loss or shift of identity etc.
  • The most defining characteristics of dissociative disorder is that there are sudden and temporary changes in the person’s conscious realm which eradicates or abolishes the painful and scary experiences.

Types of Dissociative Disorders:

Dissociative Amnesia-

  • Its main characteristic is extensive but selective memory loss that has no known organic or biological cause.
  • The effects are quite differentiated. Some of the individuals cannot memorize or remember anything that occurred in their past. They cannot recall any past event or situation.
  • Some of the individuals cannot recall particular events, people, places and objects. But their memory for the other events, remain intact and undisturbed.
  • This disorder is often accompanied by overwhelming stress and feelings of anxiety.

Dissociative Fugue-

  • This disorder has unique characteristics. In this disorder, there is an unexpected travel away from workplace and residence. The individual assumes a new identity and he/she also becomes unable to recall the previous identity or anything about it.
  • The Dissociative Fugue usually ends when the person “wakes up” suddenly from the fugue. He/she has no memory or any idea of the events that took place during the fugue. He/she cannot even recall that she/he had assumed a new identity.

Dissociative Identity Disorder-

  • This disorder is better known as Multiple Personality Disorder. It is the most dramatic and dangerous of the Dissociative Disorders.
  • This disorder is often connected with traumatic experiences in the childhood of the individual. 
  • The person suffering from this disorder, assumes alternate personalities and identities which may or may not be aware of one another.


  • It involves a dreamlike or “half-awakestate wherein the individual goes through a sense/feeling of being separated both from self and reality.
  • In this disorder, there are alterations in self-perception of the individual and that person’s sense of reality is temporarily lost or changed.

Psychological disorders make people lose their sense of control and make them forget what is reality and what is a dream. It changes a person completely and leads the individual to deteriorate.