Case Study 4: Hypochondria
Axis I: Hypochondria is a Somatoform Disorder, because by definition “disorders in this category include those where the symptoms suggest a medical condition but where no medical condition can be found by a
physician.” (http://allpsych.com/disorders/ somatoform/hypochondriac.html) Thus, the person may experience pain, which has no biological of physical cause. However, what distinguishes Hypochondria is the fact that the person who feels the pain usually transfers these symptoms to a more serious problem that does not actually exist.
Wally Graham appears distraught throughout the study, because he feels that his illness is simply being overlooked. Thus, he becomes extremely skeptical of the clinician’s clear diagnosis. However, throughout the study the doctor tries to console Wally through rationalization, by saying “nothing is wrong—no cancer, no ulcer, not even gastritis.” He continues by stating that all of Wally’s previous check-ups were clear as well. Yet, Wally gradually becomes angry because Wally in fact does and has felt these painful sensations for a number of years. The doctor tries to console Wally that his problem my have originated elsewhere, because even their most specific test, the gastroscope, didn’t even pick up an upset stomach. Wally actions with others also hint at paranoia, because he feels with out a legitimate disorder his job may be on the line. Wally’s actions, and his constant preoccupation with the fear of cancer, and tests missing it clearly show Wally to have a hypochondria disorder.
Axis II: None
Axis III: There is a great chance Wally actually feels the painful sensations he describes; however, there is just no biological basis for it. Thus, his agonizing stomach pains, nausea, committing, and diarrhea may be an incredible inconvenience for him. Yet, due to the fact that there is no clinical and biological basis for these pains it is very likely that he suffers from...
Bibliography: Mayo Clinic Staff, (2006, Nov 24). Hypochondria: Treatment. Retrieved May 25, 2008, from Mental Health Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypochondria/ DS00841/DSECTION=8
(2004, May 15). Psychiatric Disorders. Retrieved May 25, 2008, from ALLPSYCH Online Web site: http://allpsych.com/disorders/somatoform/hypochondriac.html
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