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Mental Health Disorders


Chapter 13 Lab Activity – Mental Health Disorders – Part I

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Psychologist for a Day


After reading the client scenarios carefully, your task is to collaborate to analyze each “client” scenario described below and use your understanding of the mental health disorders that you have learned this week to determine the most appropriate diagnosis, if any. In all real-world cases, clients express a wide range of symptoms, and as a result, it can be difficult to determine a diagnosis. The important thing is that you gather enough clinical information from the client to help you make a compelling argument about why a particular diagnosis, if any, is appropriate. You should also have a clear idea of why other diagnoses are not appropriate. During the class discussion, groups will be asked to justify your group’s diagnosis for at least one of the cases

To earn full credit, you must complete all of the information requested.

a) your decision about the client’s mental health (2 point each)

b) list three symptoms that led to your decision ( 2 points each)

1. Helen comes into your office asking for help. She is a 29-year-old woman, married, with no children. She would like to have children at some point. Helen reports that she has been feeling sad for a long time – almost 3 years now. Although she does have periods of feeling normal, these don’t last. There is nothing she can remember that triggered her bad feelings. Recently, her husband has been making comments about how little she has been eating. Helen says that she has no energy and cannot seem to sleep through the night. She is starting to think of herself as a worthless person for not being able to just snap out of it.


Symptoms that led to your diagnosis:

2. Graduate school was extremely tough and was very competitive, and Greg was worried that he would not do well enough to compete successfully for a job after graduation. Most nights, he had difficulty falling asleep, and he was sometimes awake for a few hours in the middle of the night, thinking about what he needed to do the next day. He worried about his father, who had just been laid off from his job, and his younger sister, who was starting high school and spending too much time socializing. He became more concerned about what his classmates thought of him. He began to have trouble concentrating, perhaps because of his sleep problems, he was not paying attention in class, and he found himself needing to re-read sections of his textbooks over and over to make sure he understood the material. He also noticed that his neck and shoulders were tight – even painful at times after long hours of hunching over books and worrying about grades.


Symptoms that led to your diagnosis:

3. Ed was brought to the hospital by the police. His wife had called them when he had become aggressive. She had refused to give him a credit card. He had been awake for almost three days straight, stating that he was not tired and was using the time productively by coming up with an invention that would make them instant billionaires. His wife discovered that Ed had been spending money that they did not have on lavish gifts and miscellaneous items from QVC that they did not need. When Ed was admitted to the hospital, he talked non-stop about needing a phone, because he needed to call the news stations to tell them about his invention idea. He kept telling the hospital staff he was going to become famous and be able to save the planet from ruin. After talking to his wife, you discover that not too long ago Ed had been very depressed. Before he became so “crazy”, as she put it, she thought that maybe he was getting better.


Symptoms that led to your diagnosis:

4. Shareese comes to visit you. She has been referred by her sister. Shareese had been picked up by the police outside of Drake’s hotel. She told the police that she and Drake were getting married and that she is the love of his life. Sharon said that his latest CD was dedicated to her and all his tweets convey secret messages to her that only she could decode. With Shareese’s permission, you talk to her sister and discover that other than this behavior, Shareese seems normal.


Symptoms that led to your diagnosis:

5. Trina came to your office because she had been robbed by gunpoint six months ago and is having difficulty coping. She tells you that she always feels nervous that it will happen again and depressed about being a victim. The thief was someone that she recently met at a club. Since then, Trina has been questioning her ability to judge people and now feels that she cannot trust anyone. Her self-esteem is really low and she is having a problem concentrating at school and work because she keeps thinking about the robbery. Trina also has recurrent nightmares and has started to drink a lot to help her sleep. Her friends have been supportive, but they seem to be getting tired of her mood swings and angry outbursts. Trina feels like she is going crazy.


Symptoms that led to your diagnosis:

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