Alissa Woloszyk 04/20/2014
Final Project: Psychological Disorder Analysis A 42-year old Hispanic female named Marla, came into the mental health clinic complaining that she is having trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy all of the time”, and that she is experiencing an in ability to concentrate. She is an accountant, and the symptoms that she is having are causing problems for her at work. After reviewing the “Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive” (Kohn, 2007) website, I would say that Marla is suffering from major depression. According to the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), patients that suffer from major depression experience a minimum of five depression specific symptoms. When Marla first came into the mental health clinic, she was complaining that she was experiencing three of the five symptoms. The three symptoms include, difficulty sleeping, being agitated (“jumpy all of the time”) and problems concentrating. In order for a therapist to be absolutely sure, the therapist would need to collect more information from Marla by conducting a clinical interview. By conducting a clinical interview, the therapist will be able to collect the necessary information that is needed to make a proper diagnosis for Marla. Some of the questions Marla would be asked that would be important for gathering more information would include the following.
1. “Would you tell me a little bit about your childhood?” By having Marla describe what her childhood was like growing up, the therapist will be able to determine if there were any events that happened to her while she was growing up that could have triggered her symptoms and depression.
2. “How has life treated you since you have become an adult and been out on your own?” By asking Marla this question, the therapist will be able to get an idea of some of the things that the patient has experienced since coming into adult hood. The therapist can then determine if Marla has had a hard time in the past dealing with “life”, or had possible signs of depression before that she has chosen to ignore. She may have experienced a loss or traumatic event that she did not cope with very well.
3. “What events have you experienced lately?” The reasoning behind this question is so that the therapist can find out if there have been any life changing events in Marla’s life that could have caused her to be depressed. A life changing event could include but not be limited to, a death of someone close to Marla, a divorce or bad break-up, a bad situation at work or with a co-worker, an eviction or foreclosure, and possibly medical issues affecting her or someone close to her. By asking this question, the therapist can get a clear view of the patient’s current circumstances.
4. “Have there been any changes at home?” If Marla has recently had a hard time dealing with finances, her children, a relationship, or just life in general, these hardships could be the reason for her depression. Falling upon hard times or having a broken personal life can absolutely make a person depressed, which would eventually start to affect their professional life.
5. “Have there been any changes at work?” It is possible that something has happened at work that is causing Marla’s depression, and affecting her ability to do her job properly. Marla could be at risk of losing her job or had an argument with one of her co-workers. There is also a possibility that she is unhappy with her career choice and feels empty when she is at work. If her work environment is unpleasant, she would have a hard time concentrating on and performing her daily tasks.
6. “Have you had any recent health problems?” Certain medical issues and problems that could be life changing can be devastating to a person. If someone were to find out that they have terminal cancer or AIDS, that kind of bad