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Homework #5: Diagnosing Mental Disorders

 

For each of the ten cases below, play the role of clinician and make the most accurate diagnosis possible from the given information. Consider all of the disorders discussed in class (including ones that are not in your book) and be specific. List the specific disorder (if there is one), and its category of disorders and briefly state why you gave that answer.

Your answers must include all three components: both parts of a diagnosis as well as an explanation, in order to receive full credit. Keep the answers brief– no more than a sentence or two. Answers should be given in the following format:

 

Example 1

Diagnosis: Bulimia Nervosa (Eating Disorders) – because the client is engaged in repeated bingeing and purging

 

Example 2

Diagnosis: Major Depressive Disorder (Mood Disorders) – because the client exhibited extreme hopelessness for an extended period of time and had some thoughts of suicide

 

 

1. Theo carries a supply of medicines wherever he goes. He is always complaining of some physical illness; last week he was wheezing, which he thought might turn into tuberculosis. The month before, he was sure he had developed a stomach ulcer. It’s hard to keep up with all of his health issues.

 

Diagnosis:

 

2. Four years have passed since the death of Bill’s eldest son, and Bill still experiences nightmares and bouts of intense guilt and anxiety when he thinks about the tragic car accident that led to his son’s death. Even though he wasn’t in the car, Bill sometimes he feels as if he is reliving the accident.

 

Diagnosis:

 

3.  Over the past few years, Megan has experienced unusually strong feelings of sadness from just after New Year’s Day for several months. During this period, she doesn’t feel like going anywhere and says nothing sounds like fun to her. Megan doesn’t know why, but by springtime, her mood seems to clear up and she enjoys lots of outdoor activities.

 

Diagnosis:

 

4. Frank was recently offered a terrific job opportunity, but he will probably turn it down. Although he would be making twice as much money as in his current job, it would be on the 72 ndfloor of an office building downtown, and Frank cannot even think of riding an elevator without breaking into a cold sweat and starting to feel very nervous.

 

Diagnosis:  

 

5.  Kelsey’s home life is a mess: she and her husband seem to argue about everything, her son was expelled from school for smoking on campus again, and they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. In addition, Kelsey is frustrated at work, as her new boss criticizes almost every decision she makes.

 

Diagnosis:

 

6. Last month Tina was giddy over the novel she wrote and was convinced it would become a best seller and win a Pulitzer Prize, even though she had never had any of her writing published before. Once the winners were announced and Tina wasn’t mentioned, she became sad, silent, and almost motionless.

 

Diagnosis:

 

7. As a serious dancer, Justine hardly eats at all. She has an intense fear of becoming obese, and even though she looks emaciated, she still claims she “feels fat” and refuses to eat enough to maintain even a minimal normal body weight for her frame. Because of being underweight, Justine has started having medical issues.

 

Diagnosis:

 

8. A man walked into the police station and reported that he had an unusual problem. He could not remember anything about himself: not where he lived or worked or even his name. The police took him to the local hospital where he was evaluated and found to have no physical ailments.

 

Diagnosis:

 

9. Payton believes that he is John Lennon of the Beatles and that his neighbors are spies for the record companies. He thinks that they are trying to steal his music and that they break into his house and search for it when he is not home. Payton is afraid to go to the police, because he thinks that they are part of it, too.

 

Diagnosis:

 

10. Olivia vacuums the carpet in her living room at home at least 15 times each day. Immediately after she has finished, she has a brief sense of calm and can put away the vacuum cleaner without any worries. But before long she begins to think that the floor is filthy with dirt and that she desperately needs to vacuum again.

 

Diagnosis:

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