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What is alexithymia?
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A personality trait characterized by an inability to consciously identify and describe emotions and feelings resulting in a difficulty in differentiating feelings from body sensations.
What is the hallmark of somatoform disorders?
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Signs and symptoms for which there is insufficient medical and pathophysiological evidence to explain the individual's level of suffering and complaints.
_________ is the term used to describe the experience and expression of unexplained physical symptoms through bodily sensations, functional changes, and/or somatic descriptions.
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A _________ disorder is one in which a patient deliberately produces signs of a medical or mental disorder and misrepresents their histories or body symptoms.
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How is the symptomatology of somatization disorders different between men and women?
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Women are diversified somatizer meaning they have frequent, brief episodes of illness that can impact many different body systems. Men are asthenic somatizers meaning they are more chronically disabled by symptoms like fatigue, weakness or common minor illnesses.
What is the typical age of onset of somatization disorders?
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Prior to age 30
What are common characteristics of individuals with somatization disorders?
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The symptoms involve all body systems, can last for 6-9 months, reports of being extremely sick and are disabled and unable to work. They provider shop and undergo multiple surgeries.
Why do psychiatric mental health nurses typically not treat patients with somatization disorders early in the disorder?
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Numerous unexplained physical problems must be investigated and riled out prior to a diagnosis of somatization disorder.
What symptoms are usually experienced by adolescents with somatization disorders?
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Menstrual difficulties, pelvic and/or abdominal pain.
What is an indicator of somatization disorders in the elderly?
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Reports of never feeling good
In order for a diagnosis of somatization disorder to be made, __________ must be present before the age of 30.
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One unexplained somatic symptom
What are common comorbid conditions with somatization disorders?
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Anxiety, depression, panic disorders, social phobia, OCD, psychotic disorders and personality disorders.
What brain structures are thought to be the underlying cause of somatization disorders?
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The caudate nuclei, left putamen and right precentral gyrus demonstrate hypometabolism, resulting in somatic symptoms.
Why are studies of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis suggested to determine if there's a link with somatization disorders?
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Women often experience menstrual disorders, suggesting a malfunction in that area
What is the psychological theory for somatization disorders?
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Somatization is a learned behavior pattern that maintains relationships by controlling others using physical symptoms during times of perceived threats.
What risk factors are associated with the development of somatization disorders?
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Sexual trauma, poor parental health when the patient was aged 15, or experiencing unexplained symptoms as a child.
What is the cornerstone of nursing management of somatization disorders?
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Indicating trust and belief in the symptoms expressed
What are the most commonly reported problems associated with somatization disorders?
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Dysmenorrhea, lump in the throat, shortness of breath, burning in the sex organs, painful extremities, amnesia, IBS.
What is the most common problem reported in people with somatization disorders?
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What problems in physical functioning are often experienced by patients with somatization disorders?
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Problems with sleep, fatigue, activity, sexual functioning, and overwhelming lack of energy.
Why is a pharmacologic assessment especially important for patients with somatization disorders?
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They tend to see several health providers and take large numbers of drugs. In addition, they tend to have unusual side effects and increased sensitivity to medications.
In general, what nursing management strategies should be employed when treating patients with somatization disorders?
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Focus on overcoming symptoms, not the 'illness,' avoid aggressive pharmacologic treatments, respect reports of physical complaints with each visit and address the source of pain using nonpharmacologic interventions.
When is pharmacologic management of somatization disorders indicated?
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If a depressed mood persists and insomnia, decreased appetite, decreased libido, and anhedonia are present.
What medications have been shown to help people with somatization disorders manage pain and depression?
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Venlafaxine/Effexor and duloxetine/Cymbalta (SNRIs)
Once a patient with somatization disorders has been prescribed medications for treating anxiety and/or depression, when should the medication be discontinued?
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Once the symptoms have been in remission for at least a year
What medication has been effective in treating depression, headaches and chronic pain in people with somatization disorders?
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The MAOI phenelzine/Nardil (there's many risks and contraindications like no OTC meds or tyramine containing foods)
In order to assess the effectiveness of medications prescribed to patients with somatization disorders, they should give them at least ________ weeks to determine their response.
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6 weeks
When are common times for a person with a somatization disorder to develop symptoms?
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During times of emotional stress, and on anniversaries of losses or trauma
What is the most important ongoing intervention for patients with somatization disorders?
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Maintenance of a therapeutic relationship, which requires time and patience
On what basis are treatment outcomes evaluated for patients with somatization disorders?
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Gradually increased social contact, gradual reduction in the number and contacts with HCP, improved ability to cope.

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