Psychological Disorder Analysis

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Dysthymia, Mood disorder Pages: 5 (1797 words) Published: August 14, 2010

Psychological Disorder Analysis
Amy Verhagen
Axia College of University of Phoenix

The diagnosis given to Maria is Dysthymic Disorder. Maria has been having trouble sleeping at night, feeling ‘jumpy’, and not able to concentrate. I suspect this has been going on for a while and possibly co-occurs with other psychological symptoms. Further questioning Maria about her past and present symptom onset will help in confirming this diagnosis to help treat her appropriately. Background Information

Dysthymia comes from the words thalamus and thyroid, hence the reason it is called dysthymia. Dysthymic disorder is described as a mood disorder with mild or chronic depression, often appearing earlier in life then major depression, often appearing to be as part of one’s personality (McGraw Hill, 2007). In diagnosing this disorder the patient must show at least two symptoms of the following six depression symptoms: low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, fatigue, eating disturbances, difficulty concentrating or decision making, and sleep disturbances. In addition, a person with dysthymic disorder is usually not without symptoms for more than two months at a time, has a gradual onset of symptoms, and significant impairment in social or work function. Diagnosis with dysthymic disorder cannot be made if the person has an underlying condition of consisting of psychotic disorder, bipolar, or because the symptoms are due to medication, substance abuse or a medical condition. Furthermore, one who has dysthymic disorder is also more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders such as avoidant or borderline (Dysthymic Disorder, 2004). This disorder is most common in women than in men and affect approximately 3% to 5% of the population (McGraw Hill, 2007). The prevalence of dysthymic disorder according to a study done by Riolo, Nguyen, Greden, and King, (2005), were significantly higher in African Americans and Mexican Americans compared to whites. Lack of education remained a risk factor for dysthymic disorder; however, in whites as education went up the prevalence went down. For Mexican and African Americans though, the education effect was less obvious and dependant on the gender. .

During the initial contact with Maria, she stated she is a 42-year-old Hispanic woman and works as an accountant. She has noticed having trouble sleeping at night, feeling ‘jumpy’ all of the time, and cannot concentrate. As Maria states, these symptoms are causing problems for her at her workplace where she works as an accountant. I want to find out when did she first notice these symptoms? Have these symptoms been going on for a couple weeks, months, years and do they seem to come and go for a period of time? Maria indicates these have been ongoing for some time, but most recently over the past several months has she noticed it is affecting her work. Can you give me some examples of times when you felt jumpy? What happened? Maria states when she is waiting for a client, the phone may ring, or secretary may come in to let her know her appointment has arrived and she jumps, like she were in a daze, or sleeping and something has occurred to snap her out of it. Have there been any life changing events in your life recently such as, a parent or close friend passing, divorce, marriage, birth of a child or a child leaving the home, or going to college? What about over the years? At age 24 Maria graduated with her degree in accounting. College is also where she met her husband. At age 25 Maria and her husband married. When Maria was 28 their daughter was born. Over the past five years her parent’s health has started to decline, so she and her siblings do what they can to support them, but it is becoming more difficult and feels her parents may need to be put in a nursing home. Depression and anxiety from these types of events can cause sleep disturbances, fatigue, jumpiness, and...

References: Dysthymic Disorder, (2004). The concise corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from
McGraw Hill Higher Education. (2007). Faces of abnormal psychology interactive. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from
Riolo, S., Nguyen, T., Greden, J., & King, C. (2005). Prevalence of depression by race/ethnicity: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. American Journal of Public Health, 95(6), 998-1000. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.047225
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