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Psychological Disorders Essay

Psychological Disorder Analysis
This psychological analysis is about Maria a 42 year old Hispanic female who comes into the mental health clinic complaining of feeling jumpy all of the time, she has trouble sleeping and is enable to concentrate on her work as an accountant. These symptoms are causing problems for her at work. There can be many causes for her symptoms but to get to the root of her issue a clinical assessment, diagnoses, and proper treatment for her disorder will be submitted. Maria comes into the clinic complaining of having trouble sleeping, feeling jumpy all the time, she has trouble concentrating on her work which seems to be causing an issue. A clinical interview is done first on Maria to attain some background information.

Clinical interviews questions are 1. What brings her to the clinic? 2. When did these feelings start and did an event trigger them? 3. Do these feelings last long? 4. What is her relationship with her parents? 5. What is her relationship with her siblings? 6. What type of work does she do? 7. What are her romantic relationships like? 8. What was her childhood experiences like? 9. What makes her happy? 10. Does she have any medical problems or medication she is taking? A possible disorder is causing her symptoms. Because information was not given concerning her background, family or social life Maria’s symptoms coincide with Dysthymic Disorder with major depression (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

Dysthymic Disorder is known as double depression (Comer, 2011). It has symptoms of chronic and low level depression which reduces one’s ability to function. Some individuals with Dysthymia experience insomnia, or hypersomnia, poor appetite and overeating. They also experience poor concentration or have difficulty making decisions. Some fail to attend to daily hygiene, some experience low energy and low self esteem which cause them to overlook their daily duties or job responsibilities (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Most say they have been unhappy or sad all of their lives which cause them not maintain healthy relationships (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Dysthymia also causes changes in feeling, thinking, and physical well-being (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

Dysthymic disorder share symptoms with major depression. Both disorders share symptoms such as sleep difficulties, shyness, and social withdrawal; poor work performance, irritability, and conflict with family and friends (University Of Phoenix, 2007). The main difference between the two disorders is the intensity and duration of the disorder. With major depression symptoms are more severe such as the individual may be so depressed they cannot get out of bed and have thoughts of suicide whereas with Dysthymia the depression is more muted where the person is able to function on some level, he or she may be getting out of bed, but they may not groom themselves (University Of Phoenix, 2007). The other difference is major depression needs episodes that last for at least two weeks whereas dysthymic disorder symptoms persist for at least two years (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Major depression is also common with minorities. Minority groups that live below poverty or come from family whose environment was impoverished tend to suffer from depression in higher numbers (Comer, 2011). Gender also plays a role in major depression women are twice as likely as men to receive a diagnosis of depression (Comer, 2011). To assess her case the DSM-IV is used. According to what Maria says her symptoms meet the criteria on the DSM-IV. Maria must display two of her symptoms for a period of 2 weeks or longer (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Maria did not indicate in this case study how long she had been experiencing symptoms.

The case study did not indicate Maria’s dress condition or hygiene neither did it indicate that she was shy or socially withdrawn. Maria may have developed dysthymic disorder through a behavioral process called learned helplessness. (University Of Phoenix, 2007). During an experiment dogs were placed in a cage with barricades and were exposed to a stimulus light which was followed by a shock (University Of Phoenix, 2007). They learned quickly through classical conditioning to fear the light (University Of Phoenix, 2007). In phase two of the experiment the shock was turned off and when the first group of dogs was exposed to the light they jumped over the barricade jumping to safety (Comer, 2011). When the second group of dogs encountered a large barrier they could not jump from the fear producing light to safety. When the light came on they ran around the cage barking and when they discovered escape was impossible they lay down and whimpered (University Of Phoenix, 2007). In phase 3 of this experiment all the barriers were removed, and the dogs could escape easily however, when the light came on the dogs that had been trapped made no effort to leave the cage, instead they lay down and whimpered (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

What the experiment revealed is the dogs learned that even though they can escape nothing they can do will improve their conditions so in effect the dogs learned to be helpless (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Because Maria is Hispanic the multicultural perspective plays a role. Because of social norms, family structure, and background this should be all taken into account with minorities. Maria probably grew in an impoverish environment. Research shows that Hispanics are more likely to live a poorer environment that White American (Comer, 2011). Maria may feel that her life was precondition to remain this way even though she has made a life for herself as an accountant. Just like the dogs in her thinking she feels nothing she can do will change her conditions, even though she has opportunities to improve her life she has learned to be helpless which makes her sad and depressed which are symptoms of the disorder (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

Multicultural research also shows that prejudice and discrimination against multicultural groups leads to higher anxiety and depression in minorities (Comer, 2011). Other probably causes for Maria’s disorder is a biological imbalance or hormonal imbalance like those seen in major depression. Biological theorist believes abnormal behavior as an illness is brought on by a malfunctioning organism in the brain or brain chemistry (Comer, 2011). The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons (Comer, 2011). When an electrical impulse reaches a neuron it is stimulated to release a certain chemical called a neurotransmitter which travels to receptors (Comer, 2011). These receptors travel to other neurons telling them to fire or not fire (Comer, 2011). Neurotransmitters play a key role in carrying information through the brain. In Maria’s case her neurotransmitters may be defective causing her symptoms (Comer, 2011). A hormonal imbalance can also trigger depression (Comer, 2011). A woman’s biological life changes as she ages triggering different hormone levels (Comer, 2011). Although hormonal changes cannot alone cause depression alone important social and life events that occur with puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can (Comer, 2011). To treat dysthymic disorder biological treatments such as psychotherapy and medications like Prozac and Tofranil have proven to be helpful in reducing symptoms (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

A variety of psychotherapeutic approaches can work as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy can challenge Marias unrealistic ideas, pessimistic expectations and self-critical evaluations (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Therapy can help her to have a more positive outlook on her life, and can help her to prioritize both opportunities and challenges concerning her life (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Multicultural treatments such as culture-sensitive therapy can be used in which the therapist addresses issues faced by minority groups (Comer, 2011). In addition behavioral oriented therapy can help her adapt better coping skills and help her communicate more effectively with friends and coworkers (University Of Phoenix, 2007). In this case study Maria went to the mental health clinic complaining of having trouble sleeping, feeling jumpy all the time, an inability to concentrate on her work as an accountant. Interview questions were asked which lead to a diagnosis of dysthymic disorder with major depression. Probable causes for her disorder are rooted in a neuro chemical imbalance or a learned helplessness from her environment (University Of Phoenix, 2007). Treatment for dysthymic disorder is psychotherapy and medication to reduce the symptoms (University Of Phoenix, 2007).

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