July 19, 2010
Many people suffer from psychological disorders. Psychological disorders interfere with an individual's ability to function normally in society. Marla is a 42-year-old Hispanic female who comes to the mental health clinic complaining of trouble sleeping, feeling "jumpy all of the time," and an inability to concentrate. These symptoms are causing problems for her at work, where she is an accountant. Based on the background information that Marla provided, Marla appears to be suffering from adult ADHD. ADHD, usually occurs in begins in childhood, but some children who suffer from ADHD have symptoms that persist into adulthood. People who suffer from ADHD are characterized as having "great difficulty attending to tasks or [they] behave over actively and impulsively, or both" (Comer, 2007, p. 428). Marla's feelings of being "jumpy all the time" is a major symptom of ADHD, which characterizes her as being overactive and impulsive. She also has trouble concentrating because of constant movement and an inability to pay attention. In arriving at a diagnosis, I considered the following questions: 1. Please tell me about yourself including your social environment and any other important aspects of your life? While Marla’s social environment is unknown, many adults who suffer from ADHD have friends and family. Marla has trouble coping with daily life because her ADHD has been hindering her ability to focus, and therefore interrupting the things that are important in her life.
2. What prompted you to seek therapy?
Marla, like many individuals who decide to seek therapy, decide to seek therapy because of their inability to concentrate and the impulsivity/hyperactivity is affecting their work life. Also, Marla has difficulty sleeping, sometimes a symptom of ADHD, which may be caused by her hyperactivity or impulsivity. It is difficult for many individuals with ADHD to lie still and get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep, because of the incessant urge to constantly move around or fidget excessively, a common symptom of ADHD.
3. How would you describe yourself growing up?
As a child, Marla may have suffered from many of the same symptoms she is currently battling in adulthood because ADHD usually begins in childhood and progresses to adolescence and in Marla's case, into adulthood. For the diagnosis to be given to an adult, the individual must have symptoms which began in childhood and are ongoing up to the present (Martin, 2007). Therefore, all adults who suffer from ADHD developed the symptoms in childhood. As an individual like Marla grows into adolescence and even further into adulthood, the symptoms of over activity and impulsivity become less apparent. The decrease of intensity in the ADHD symptoms may make the symptoms easier for individuals like Marla to handle, but they still affect the person's life.
4. What are your expectations of therapy?
Marla is probably hoping that therapy will help her to overcome the issues she is currently facing because she can learn new techniques that will help her feel less "jumpy" and be able to concentrate more when she is at work. Techniques taught in behavioral therapies can help Marla gain more control over her actions, so that she can better deal with her hyperactivity or impulsivity. 5. Can you think of any one event that precipitated this onslaught? Marla's current state of mind can reveal several things including that she may be stressed with some of the events that are occurring in her life. Even though the onset of ADHD is in childhood, high levels of stress have been cited as one of the major contributing factors of ADHD, along with "biological causes (abnormalities in certain regions of the brain have been implicated most often) and family dysfunction" (Comer, 2007, p. 429). Certain events may have...