Chapter 8 Somatoform Disorders
1. Conversion disorders are health problems that start from a psychological conflict or emotional crisis. Symptoms of this disorder include blindness, inability to speak, numbness and paralysis. The difference between conversion disorders and “genuine” medical problems is that unlike real medical problems, their symptoms have a psychosocial origin. There is no physical cause of the symptoms.
2. A) One feels so sorry for Jenny. Although one understands the pain that Jenny went through when she broke up with his fiancée, one cannot tolerate her behavior. It is not right to deceive other people and play with their emotions. If she wanted attention, she could just have told the truth and she will still get the attention she wants.
B) Jenny’s illness is factitious disorder. She was suffering from severe emotional difficulties. She was not able to cope with her break up with her fiancée. She did not know how to express her emotions. Even before the break up, one can already observe that Jenny has problems in establishing personal relationships with other people, like her co-workers. Her life is focused on her fiancée; thus, when they separated, her whole life collapsed. One also believes that maybe as a child, Jenny has been neglected by her mother because she was always busy with work. This may have contributed to her disorder.
C) Jenny received several benefits from the people around her when she said that she has breast cancer. She was given the attention that she wanted. Her co-workers helped her with some of her duties at the office. She also received monetary benefits from the children at school, supposedly for her chemotherapy treatments. Instead of commuting, she was included in the car pools of the office. She gained sympathy from her officemates and from her cancer support group.
D) Jenny’s behavior differs from those with anxiety disorder. People with anxiety disorder do not act as if they have a physical or mental illness. Anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of panic or fear, uneasiness, shortness of breath, palpitations, cold or sweaty hands, nausea and inability to be still or calm.
Chapter 9 Eating Disorders and Obesity
3. One’s eating habits are influence by several factors. One’s cognitive functions dictate that one should not over eat and that intake of healthy food should take priority in one’s meals. Another factor which affects one’s eating habits is the societal pressures and family environment. Most people do not admire individuals who are fat. Some even make fun of them. Most of one’s family members are slim, athletic and physically fit; thus, there is pressure one’s part to eat foods that are low in calories and carbohydrates. One will be an outcast if one is obese. Depression does not really have an effect on one’s eating habits. Whether depressed or not, the same amount and kind of food is consumed. It is also fortunate that one’s genes are not prone to obesity.
4. Kuczynski’s main point about gastric bypass is that, though obese individuals often resort to it, it is not entirely risk-free. He contends that gastric bypass is often resorted to by overweight people, not to be models but to save their lives. Kuczynski further disputes that gastric bypass is not necessarily pleasing to the eyes, as it will result in a lot of loose skin. In short, gastric bypass is not the end to an obese person’s woes. It may just be the start of his long journey of surgeries.
One of the things that is surprising about this topic is the increase in the number of Americans who undergo gastric bypass surgery. Kuczynski mentions that 140,600 Americans have undergone gastric bypass surgery, while there were only 16,000 of this type of surgery ten years ago. The data reveals that there are indeed a growing number of obese Americans. What is also surprising is that although there are several risks involved with the surgery, people are still willing to take the risk just to get rid of all the unwanted fat in a fast and expensive way. Another interesting information about gastric bypass surgery is that after the said surgery, individuals still have to go through follow-up surgeries to address the skin redundancy or removal of excess skin as a result of the gastric bypass. The costs of these surgeries are overwhelming but people still go ahead with it. It is shocking what obese people have to go through just to feel good about themselves.
Barry, Danielle. "Somatization disorder." 2013. minddisorders.com. Web. 19 November 2013 <http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Somatization-disorder.html>.
Feldman, Marc D. and Charles V. Ford. "Patient or pretender." n.d. 59-64.
Kuczynski, Alex. "Chapter 9 - Fat is not beautiful." Kuczynski, Alex. Beauty Junkies. Doubleday, n.d. 169-182.
Rogge, Timothy. "Conversion disorder." 17 November 2012. nlm.nih.gov. Web. 19 November 2013 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000954.htm>.
WebMD, LLC. "Anxiety & panic disorders health center." 2013. webmd.com. Web. 19 November 2013 <http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders>.