From the historical point of view, dissociative and somatoform disorders are considered as a hysterical neurosis. However, there is some distinction between these two kinds. Dissociative disorders appear when in cases of being stressed a human personality begins to break apart or, in other words, to dissociate. As a consequence, some vital functions of human existence, such as language or intellectual capacity are unbalanced. To the contrary, people with a somatoform disorder have psychological issues that result into some physical problems.
There are 4 types of somatoform disorders. The first one is called hypochondriasis. Those who suffer from this type of disorder, do not actually have a real illness, however, they often overreact about their physical condition. Moreover, they tend to be worried that they have some kinds of disease without having it. The treatment for them usually includes cognitive-behavioral therapy and stress treatment; somatization disorder is associated with a numerous patient’s complains in an exaggerated and magnified way. The causes of such disorder are usually connected with situation of being a witness to some catastrophe or unpleasant event. Sometimes it can be a result of lying, theft and vandalism. It is believed to be very hard to treat the somatization disorder. However, the group therapy with a cognitive-behavioral model is possible; conversion disorder is considered to be a physical dysfunction without any visible physical pathology. The patient often tends to be indifferent about his/ her disability (Bass, 1997). There are some ways of treatment, such as hypnosis, faith healing and psychoanalysis; frthermore, dysmorphic disorder is associated with an imagined ugliness. People suffering from this disorder often treat themselves as outsiders because they believe they are not attractive enough. The best treatment for this disorder is anti-depressant medications.
As for the dissociative disorder, there exist 4 types of it. Depersonalization disorder is the first one. It is the feeling of loss of sense of the reality. It is also a feeling of being outside the body. The patients usually feel that something strange is happening to them and that is why they often go insane; dissociative amnesia, which occurs when memory is blocked. It usually happens after a serious stress or nervous breakdown. Nevertheless, the memory loss is selective, which means that person is able to learn new things; dissociative fugue is the disease which make a person to take an unexpected trip and to change a name due to the fact that he/ she partially forgot his/ her past; dissociative trance disorder happens when person believes that he/ she is possessed by spirits (Ellert, 2000).
To the contrary, when the person suffers only from depressive episodes, it is called a unipolar disorder. The other case is, when a depressive episode appears amidst depression and mania, and then it is called bipolar disorder. However, both of these types of disorders have significant influence on the patients (Fast, 2010).
Numerous studies have proved that there are slight differences between amidst bipolar and unipolar disorders. It was found that women are more likely to suffer from unipolar disorder at a later age when men succumb to bipolar disorder being adults. Comparing to unipolar disorder, in which patients suffer from insomnia, bipolar disorder make its patients sleep too much, since they are very tired. Unipolar patient can experience loss of the appetite while bipolar tend to feel a constant need for carbohydrate. Unipolar patients usually behave in an active and aggressive way while bipolar are very slow in movements and often feel exhausted. Moreover, unipolar patients tend to respond to treatment faster than bipolar. Despite these minor differences, both of these disorders have major consequences in the patients’ lives. Furthermore, the causes for these disorders are the same – environmental issues, stress, depression, abuse and genetic defects (Cuellar, 2010).