October 7, 2012
Psychological Disorder Analysis
What is Dysthymia? Dysthymia also known as dysthimic disorder is a mild form of depression. The symptoms for Dysthymia differ from case to case, and can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and inconsistent sleep habits—oversleeping or not sleeping at all. In order for an individual to be properly diagnosed with Dysthymia the symptoms have to be present for at least a couple of years (EverydayHealth Media, LLC, 2012). To illustrate how Dysthymia is diagnosed and treated, an interview with a patient who seems to be suffering from this disorder will be conducted and a diagnosis as well as a treatment plan will be formulated according to one of the psychological theories—biological, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, sociocultural, and humanistic-existential.
The Patient: Marla is a 42 year old Hispanic woman who has come to the mental health center complaining of having trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy all of the time”, and experiencing an inability to concentrate. These symptoms have begun to cause problems for her at work, where she is an accountant.
Marla’s Interview Marla: “Good afternoon. I really appreciate you coming in to see me on your day off.” Me: “Well your phone call sounded urgent and want to do everything I possibly can to help you. In order to do that Marla, I am going to ask you some questions so I can get a better understanding of what is going on inside of you. Are you okay with this?” Marla: “Yes, I am.”
Me: “Have you ever experienced any type of psychological disorders? For instance, drastic mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, or severe depression that has been interfering with your life? What about your grandparents, parents, brothers, or sisters, has any of them ever been diagnosed with addiction, depression, or mood disorders?” Marla: “As of late I feel really jumpy all of the time. As for my family, I cannot say for sure if any of them has ever suffered from any of those things. Although, I suspect they may have been.” Me: “So you are anxious and on edge all of the time?”
Marla: “That is correct.”
Me: “Is there anything else that you have noticed that may be causing a problem in your life?” Marla: “Now that you ask, I have been experiencing a lack of concentration at work. Some days are worse than others. I have also been having trouble getting to sleep at night.” Me: “In your initial phone conversation with the receptionist you stated that this was an emergency and that your job might be in jeopardy if you did not see someone immediately. I can imagine why; the lack of sleep must be terribly annoying, all the while increasing the level of anxiousness you feel the next day. This in turn this causes that “jumpy feeling” to become worse as your day goes on. Your mind becomes flooded with uncontrollable anxiety and constant negative thoughts toward yourself as well as everyone else around you. In turn your mind is preoccupied with repetitive thoughts that give way to increased jumpiness and making it harder for you to concentrate on your everyday routine tasks. Marla, how was your childhood relationship with your parents?” Marla: “My mother and father argued all the time, he was really aggressive with her. Sometimes I could hear when he hit her. My mother and I worried more everyday when it got close to the time my father would be coming home from work. I was always afraid when I was a kid.” Me: “Marla, do you have any friends? If so, describe your relationship with them.” Marla: “I have about five girlfriends that I associate with, two of them I consider to be really close.” Me: “I suppose your two closest friends know all about your anxiety issues, yet the other three still remain clueless?” Marla: “Yes,...