Abnormal Psychology: Abuse, Addiction, & Disorders

Topics: Posttraumatic stress disorder, Abnormal psychology, Psychological trauma Pages: 6 (1880 words) Published: November 25, 2012
Psychological Disorder Analysis


Psy 270

Jalisa Cooper

February 4, 2012

Final paper

Psychological Disorder Analysis

Psychological disorders can be very debilitating for those who suffer from them. Psychological disorders affect a person’s ability to function normally in their daily lives. In regards to the case study of Nicole the patient Nicole is a 40-year-old Hispanic female who comes to the mental health clinical complaining of trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy” all of the time, and experiencing an inability to concentrate. These symptoms are causing problems for her at work, where she is a finance manager. Though the information in regards to Nicole is very limited and difficult to analyze, however the symptoms suggest that Nicole may be suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to diagnose and the symptoms are often unrecognizable. Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder which can develop from having experienced a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Like many anxiety disorder they may cause jumpy and sleepless behavior depending on the anxiety disorder the individual may have. Traumatic disorders can be triggered by stress or any other event that may cause the individual to develop anxiety related symptoms. A traumatic event might be military combat experience, violent personal attacks, or even car accidents. Post-traumatic disorders can be triggered by something in their past that be generated from something major or insignificant. While Nicole’s profile within the case study does not state the existence of a traumatic event throughout her past or present life, however I can only assume that she many have experienced something in her past that may have been triggered by stress at work or another aspect in her life. It is common for the individual to withhold this information as it may be extremely difficult for them to relive the event because it may be too traumatic. Victims that may have experienced an event such as rape or car accident resulting in death or severe injuries may not experience symptoms at the moment of the event however they may develop symptoms shortly or later after the event once it is triggered by stress or other traumatic events. Being that the case study did not present a in depth history on Nicole I would attempt to gather information form the patient such as “Have you experienced a traumatic event recently or in your past?” This would be to gather information about the patient to that I can pin point the origin of what is causing her symptoms. The case study regarding Nicole mentions that she is a 40-year old woman that is suffering from a great deal of symptoms. According to the Demographics of “Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive: for Post-traumatic stress disorder”, middle age adults are more adversely affected than older and younger adults. In addition she is a Hispanic woman meaning for whatever disorder it is important to take into consideration her culture in treating her conditions. The DSM-IV states one of the criteria of Post-traumatic stress disorder is increased levels of arousal including insomnia, irritability, and hyper vigilance. “People with these disorders may feel overly alert, be easily startled, develop sleep problems, and have trouble concentrating” (Comer, 2005). When suffering from PTSD and individual may begin to display symptoms of avoidance of any stimuli that is in anyway related or associated with the traumatic event. These methods many even include avoidance of thoughts, feelings and activities associated with are resemble the event. As stated in the case study Nicole mentioned that she is having complications with getting to sleep or in general getting the significant amount of sleep needed to maintain her energy level throughout the day. Through her lack of...
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