However, as his first semester progressed, he found that his energy level was decreasing, and he no longer visited his home town.

Posted: November 10th, 2022

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Assignment: Please write a psychological report about a client’s diagnosis (choose one of the three clients described below). In your report, address the following points in essay form (please make it clear which question you are addressing throughout the report!):
For what DSM diagnosis does the client meet criteria? (5 points) Support your answer by evaluating how well the client meets the diagnostic criteria for the disorder you chose. (8 points)
How well does the client fit the profile of a “typical” person with this disorder (i.e., use epidemiological information, such as gender differences and age of onset)? (8 points)
What might have caused the patient’s disorder (discuss at least two etiological possibilities)? (8 points)
What are your treatment recommendations? (5 points)
What are three additional questions that you would ask in order to feel more confident about your diagnosis, etiological conceptualization, and/or treatment recommendation? (10 points)
Discuss at least one additional diagnosis that is a “rule out” for the patient (i.e., aspects of a disorder that he might have, even though he does not meet full criteria). Support your argument for this “rule out” diagnosis. (5 points)
Quality of writing: spelling, punctuation, grammar, organization, and clarity (5 points)
Instructions: Paper should be 3-5 pages in length (typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, and 12-point font). Your paper will be graded on both content and quality of writing. I expect these papers to be organized, grammatically correct, and to demonstrate a high quality of writing (i.e., accurate spelling, punctuation, sentence structure). If you consider yourself to be weak in these areas, it is up to you to obtain extra help (e.g., from the writing center). This paper is worth 60 points (10% of course grade). IIT guidelines regarding plagiarism will be followed (see syllabus).
Submission: Please upload your paper to the assignment on the Content page of the Blackboard course site. Papers are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 13.
Client Option 1
Harry is a 20-year-old college student. His parents brought him to you, complaining that Harry had changed after he started college. Specifically, they said that he had not made many new friends, and his grades were much poorer than they had been when he was in high school. In addition, they noted that Harry seemed to be “down,” and he did not talk very much. Although he had always been relatively quiet, they indicated that this was a marked change for Harry. In fact, there were times during his senior year in high school when he had been very active, sleeping very little and throwing himself into his studies and extracurriculars. Harry described himself to you as having been relatively shy throughout childhood and adolescence, although he always had a small group of friends with whom he socialized on a regular basis. He did not have any serious problems until his first year of college. At that time, Harry began to experience periods of low mood. He had been very nervous about going away to college, so he chose a school that was only two hours away from his hometown. Initially, he would go home on the weekends to visit his family and friends. However, as his first semester progressed, he found that his energy level was decreasing, and he no longer visited his home town. Instead, he spent increasingly long periods of time in his dorm room, and he began sleeping in excess of 12 hours per day. Harry lost his appetite, and his weight dropped considerably (i.e., he lost 15 pounds). He rarely went to class, and he spent most of his time playing video games on his computer. Harry often felt that his mind was “sluggish,” and when he tried to study, he could not remain focused on the task at hand. He felt very guilty because he did not feel that he was putting in enough time to justify the amount of money that his parents were paying for tuition. Harry began to think that nobody in his dorm really liked him, and he occasionally thought that no one would notice or care if he died.
Client Option 2
Maya is a 29-year-old, Mexican American woman, presenting for treatment at a local community counseling center. Maya has been unable to work in the past two years as a pharmacy technician due to repeatedly forgetting to complete tasks and missing work. She reports that she would sometimes “lose time” and feel detached from her surroundings at work for a few minutes or even hours at time leading her to have difficulty concentrating, keeping track of time, and remembering important information. Maya also complains of having frequent episodes during which she feels as though she is “reliving” frightening experiences that happened when she was a child. During these episodes, she sometimes completely loses awareness for a few minutes to even hours at a time. She explains that her uncle lived with her family for a few years when she was between age 9 to 12, and during that time he hurt her to the point that she feared for her life and experienced bodily harm. Maya explains how she has only told her two sisters about these experiences and now you, the psychologist. She reports that she refuses to discuss these experiences with her husband of three years or anyone else because she thinks that she should have prevented it somehow, and feels very ashamed of what happened- that it was her fault. Maya describes how the memories about these experiences have begun to impact her relationship with her husband, such that she can no longer be intimate with him without reliving certain traumatic experiences. She reports that she also feels unable to emotionally connect with her husband anymore. She has also become distant from her family, such that she avoids family gatherings (e.g., left her cousin’s Quinceañera after only 30 minutes), and stopped going to weekly evening meals at her sisters’ places and her parent’s place. Maya explains how this has been very upsetting because she enjoys being close with her family. However, in the last two years, she has lost interest in spending time with them, and rarely leaves the house due to encountering stimuli that reminds her of what happened with her uncle. Maya also reports having nightmares a few times a month about these traumatic experiences, and that she has persistent difficulty falling asleep due to fear of having a nightmare. Finally, she reports that her husband thinks she has become “self-destructive” these past two years because she often drinks heavily to help her deal with the distressing memories and on some occasions he has caught her taking some of her husband’s pain killers. During this interview, Maya displays little emotion and has a flat affect, especially when discussing the experiences involving her uncle.
Client Option 3
Theo is a 41-year-old, divorced, Hispanic American male who currently lives with his mother and father in Chicago. Theo has been seeing psychotherapists for the past four years at the clinic where you work before being transferred to you. Theo is seeking treatment because he
reports being unable to work and maintain meaningful relationships. He has not had a romantic
relationship for the past 14 years since his divorce, and has had to move in with his parents and
rely on them financially. He also had to resign from his job as a Senior Software and Design
Manager in 2014; a job he had for thirteen years. Theo reports feeling highly “sensitive” and
avoids consuming a large number of foods and drinks because of their ingredients, how they
smell, or if they have been “contaminated” by something. For example, Theo reports having
anxiety and fear of becoming contaminated by strong smells that emanate from food and drink
(e.g., coffee smell at Starbucks). This fear and anxiety is marked by repetitive, persistent
thoughts about how his body might become, “very sick,” “go numb,” “have convulsions,” or his
face might “swell” if he consumes the “wrong” food or if the food was “contaminated.” When he has these thoughts about foods being wrong, unsafe, or contaminated or if he accidentally
consumes something that is wrong, unsafe, or contaminated, he reports engaging in different
behaviors to relieve the associated distress and physical discomfort. For example, he frequently
engages in bathroom rituals; repeatedly washing his hands or taking very hot showers to
“decontaminate.” He reports also “undoing” or “making it right” after coming into contact with
the wrong food/drink by visualizing a “spinning wheel” and avoiding looking into the center of
it. As long as he avoids looking at the center of the “spinning wheel”, he reports that he can
usually “correct” the contamination. He also reports becoming preoccupied with determining
what foods are contaminated/safe/wrong or not. This leads him to becoming “stuck” when
making what may normally be simple or even automatic decisions (e.g., what kind of bottled
water to drink, how much water to drink, which apple to eat, what to have for lunch) and using
mental “formulas” to determine if a food/drink is safe to consume or not.

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