Background. Categorization is one of the cognitive processes that ensure objects definition based on selected key features. Studying the aspects of categorization of bodily sensations allows to investigate the making sense of bodily sensations which seems promising in the context of exploring pathological bodily sensations.
Objective: to study the aspects of categorization in psychodermatological disorders.
Design. The study involved 113 patients with mental disorders with complaints of pathological bodily sensations (63 patients with psychodermatological disorders: delusional infestation (n = 33), neurotic excoriation (n = 30); 50 patients with depression with somatic symptoms). There were used the “Short Health Anxiety Inventory” and the psychosemantic method “Choice of descriptors of intraceptive sensations” with instructions: to choose bodily sensations of the healthy state, to classify sensations according to their similarity.
Results. In psychodermatological disorders, health anxiety was lower in comparison to depression with somatic symptoms. The analysis of bodily sensations categorization of the healthy state revealed a significantly smaller descriptors number from classes of general somatic sensations, dynamics sensations, exteroceptive sensations and pleasant bodily sensations in psychodermatological disorders. In bodily sensations classification two general categories of bodily experience were distinguished: bodily sensations associated with the illness experience and bodily sensations of habitual functioning.
Conclusion. Although there were the differences in health-anxiety and specificity of clinical manifestations in patients with mental disorders with complaints of pathological bodily sensations, the comparability of categorical structures of bodily experience was described, which manifested itself in features of general categories of bodily experience in psychodermatological disorders and depression with somatic symptoms.
Sections: Clinical psychology;
Keywords: categorization; corporeality; pathological bodily sensations; medically unexplained symptoms; delusional infestation; neurotic excoriations; depression with somatic symptoms
Available Online 30.10.2020
Ermusheva A.A. Vinogradova M.G., Tkhostov A.Sh. (2020). Categorization of bodily sensations in psychodermatological disorders. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)4, 75–84. doi: 10.11621/npj.2020.0406