The patient is a female who reports ongoing chronic pain in various body parts such as the stomach, chest, arms, legs, and throat. Her visit to the medical professional revealed no injuries or diseases that could be the cause of her pain. According to the symptoms, the patient could be diagnosed with Somatic Symptoms Disorder (SSD).
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The male client in the case study can be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. He demonstrates distorted body image being convinced that he is overweight when in reality his weight is low for his height. He has restrictive behaviors in relation to calorie intake and obsession with exercising. His reason for this behavior is characterized as a desire to have a successful relationship.
According to DSM-V, Somatic Symptoms Disorder “is characterized by somatic symptoms that are either very distressing or result in significant disruption of functioning, as well as excessive and disproportionate thoughts, feelings and behaviors regarding those symptoms” (American Psychiatric Organization, 2013, p. 1). The main rationales for the diagnosis include such factors as the presence of chronic pain in multiple body parts of the patient, she disrupted professional, personal, and social life as she feel immobilized by her condition and fails to come back to work or even take care of her hygiene. Another important rationale is the absence of the medically detected cause of the patient’s pain. Finally, the excessive thoughts of the patient are reflected in her desire to sue the hospital for refusing to treat her perceived injuries after a car accident.
The potentially confounding factors that could impact the diagnosis include the period for which the patient has been experiencing the symptoms and the presence of the symptoms of different types before and after the car accident.
According to DSM-V, SSD is diagnosed when the patient reports continuous symptoms during at least six months (American Psychiatric Organization, 2013). The patient does not mention how long she has been suffering from pain; the time may be insufficient for a diagnosis. Besides, her report about the throat problems that existed before the accident and got worse after may be the reason to consult a medical professional for the examination. There might be a disease connected to the SSD symptoms. Finally, the loss of a husband, the patient refuses to discuss may be the true cause of her condition, in which case the problems are dissociative as her loneliness made her unconsciously create the situation where she is in constant need of a caretaker.
Representation of Eating Disorders in Men and Women
Men and women are affected by similarly eating disorders but at different rates. The number of women affected by anorexia nervosa is twice as high as the number of men, whereas three times as many women suffer from bulimia nervosa (Males with Eating Disorders: The Gender Factor, 2014). For men, dieting is not as culturally accepted as it is for women. Men diet due to 4 main reasons – to enhance sports performance, to avoid being mocked for excessive body weight, under an impression of the diseases affecting their overweight fathers, and to improve a gay relationship (For women, dieting does not require any particular reasons; they just feel the need to lose weight under the social pressure. Besides, the presentation of eating disorders is affected by the cultural expectations that differ from men and women. The former feels the need to gain muscle mass without any fat while the latter is under pressure to have a small dress size as possible losing their natural curvature and even muscle
American Psychiatric Organization. (2013). Somatic Symptom Disorder. Web.
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Males with Eating Disorders: The Gender Factor. (2014). Web.