Case Study Vignettes – Making a Diagnosis

Topics: Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Schizophrenia, Suicide, Dysthymia / Pages: 6 (1880 words) / Published: Feb 1st, 2015
Case Study Vignettes – Making a Diagnosis
Linda Hamelin
Abnormal Psychology
December, 2014
Professor Nancy Brooks

Questions and Answers
The following questions will be answered for each patient listed below, nine total patients. In addition, further below, two additional patients will be reviewed for symptoms of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD).
What is the most probable diagnosis?
Why? What symptoms of this disorder are present?
What further information would help you ascertain if this were the correct diagnosis?
The Patients
The most probable diagnosis for Jenny is depression, specifically dysthymia. Jenny’s symptoms suggest dysthymia, which symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, and loss of appetite. These symptoms are also present amongst those suffering from depression. Jenny mentioned she was sexually molested. The mention of the molestation suggests that she may be having some feelings of guilt and/or helplessness since little was done at the time, because of her informing her parents. Her feelings of helplessness along with fatigue, loss of appetite and insomnia suggests that she may be suffering from depression.
Dysthymia mimics major depression, however, the patient may exhibit fewer, less intense symptoms. The mental health provider generally makes the diagnosis based on a patient 's symptoms. As regards dysthymia, the symptoms, unlike major depression, may last a longer period but be far less severe, which seems to be the circumstance for Jenny. (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2014)
The most probable diagnosis for Fred is post-traumatic stress disorder. Formerly classified as an anxiety disorder, now classified under trauma and stress-related disorders. Fred was greatly affected by certain family members’ reactions to his revelation of homosexuality. He then was further traumatized by being robbed at gunpoint. Following the robbery, Fred refuses to take the subway, which is an avoidant symptom.

References: Butcher, J., Hooley, J., & Mineka, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology 6th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson. Butcher, J., Hooley, J., & Mineka, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology 6th Edition. In Chapter 14 - Neurocognitive Disorders (pp. 482 - 507). Upper Saddle River: Pearson. Mayo Clinic Staff. (1998 - 2014). Diseases and Conditions. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: MyPsychLab for Butcher, Mineka, and Hooley, Abnormal Psychology 16e. (n.d.). Video Series - BiPolar and Related Disorders. Retrieved from MyPsychLab:

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