Abnormal Psychology Case Study Assessment; Clinical Case Study


Your responses need to be your own ideas, and should be based on the online modules, the
textbook, and/or other references, such as the DSM-5.
The Case Study Assessment is a 40 point assignment, so please be thorough and
comprehensive in your answers/responses.
To accurately and thoroughly answer and discuss each of the four questions below, you will
need to write approximately one page (250 words or more) per question.
When you answer the questions below, clearly identify your answers to the specific
question. Label your paragraphs: 1A and 1B; 2; 3; and 4. DO NOT copy and paste the
questions below on your narrative answer sheet.
It is recommended that you print this answer sheet, then refer to it as your answer the
questions in a Word Document only – save Document as PSYC 2320 Case Study.
*Note: MUST use:
• Times New Roman font,
• 12 point font,
• double-spaced.
Assessments that are single-spaced will not be accepted or graded.

  1. A. Based on the information provided in the case study, state the most accurate clinical
    diagnosis for this client.
    DSM-5 Diagnosis: ______________________

B. Justify the diagnosis: Based on the diagnosis above, carefully review each of the
diagnostic criteria for the DSM-5 disorder. Systematically list and address each criterion for the
*Note: Determine the most accurate DSM-5 diagnosis as discussed in your textbook and in the
online modules, and discuss any other factors from the case study that would support/substantiate
the diagnosis.
*Note: Identify the specific symptoms as outlined in the case study, and directly link them with
the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria that fit the client’s profile.
That is, once you determine the appropriate diagnosis, list each of the diagnostic criteria for that
diagnosis and discuss the client’s symptoms and behaviors from the case study that are
congruent with the diagnostic criteria, thus warranting the diagnosis.

  1. Develop a comprehensive treatment plan including specific therapies and a discussion
    of how the treatment strategies would address the client’s mental illness and symptoms.
    Discuss and explain an appropriate, feasible treatment plan for the individual. Justify your
    rationale for the recommended treatments. For example, behavior therapy is an extremely broad
    treatment that is used in many forms. If you make that recommendation, you would need to
    specify the type of behavior therapy that would be most effective for the client’s needs and
    justify how that specific behavior therapy would address the client’s symptoms.
    *Note: Psychologists do not prescribe medication; however, if, in your opinion, you believe that
    medication might be helpful for this client, then a component of the treatment plan could include
    referral to a medical doctor (psychiatrist) for medication evaluation, and it would be acceptable
    to discuss an indication about the type of medication for consideration that could be effective to
    help alleviate the client’s symptoms.
    Keep in mind that more than one form of treatment may be necessary in order to be most
    effective. In what setting would the client need to receive treatment: in-patient or out-patient,
    etc.? What barriers or challenges to treatment might there be? How could these be addressed?
    What therapies might be helpful for family members?
  2. Identify and discuss the theoretical explanations for the client’s current and past
    psychological difficulties and maladaptive behaviors, and explain potential causes
    related to the determined disorder(s) using established theories.
    Within this section, you will discuss the theoretical explanations for the client’s diagnosis, as
    well as current and past maladaptive behaviors and explain potential causes (etiology) using
    established theories.
    Note: There is no one theoretical perspective that will explain all aspects of an individual’s
    psychiatric illness/behaviors. For example, if a client has Bipolar I Disorder, this is an illness
    with neurological and biochemical changes, which means that it may be partially explained using
    a biological model; however, that model alone does not explain the onset or course of the illness
    (or why some individuals have the disorder, while others do not). There are numerous
    theoretical perspectives in your text which are discussed in depth for each disorder. Thus, it is
    expected that you will discuss more than one theoretical model. Refer to your textbook, the
    online modules, and/or other valid sources for information on causation as related to the client’s
    disorder. Cite your sources.
  3. Discuss psychosocial factors and/or environmental stressors as well as any other
    variables which may be contributing to the client’s mental health issues. Be specific
    and thorough.
    Address the role of psychosocial and environmental stressors in the case study. Clearly and
    comprehensively explain how each identified psychosocial and environmental factor negatively
    affects or affected the client’s symptoms. Be sure to explain how the potential stressors facing
    the individual contribute to her difficulties with psychological adjustment. Do not just state
    something vague, such as “family problems” – be specific, and explain the stressor and its
    effect on the client. Discuss the client’s support system. Think holistically about the individual
    and her life (and the impact of the mental illness on her daily functioning and future goals), and
    discuss other relevant factors that could contribute to psychosocial and environmental stressors.

Case Study

Read the Case Study below; determine the most appropriate diagnosis and answer the
questions on the Case Study Assessment sheet.
Case Study: Beth
Chief complaint (presenting problem): “The dean told me to come here…..There’s a buzzing of
everything — stars, quarks. The particles buzz. They’re connected… I really don’t want to talk about it.
Colleen is trying to kill me”.
Beth is a 22 year-old junior at a local university who was referred to the local mental health clinic by the
college counseling center with reports of significant decline in grades, as well as unusual ideas, decline in
personal hygiene, and “odd and withdrawn” behavior in class. Beth reports that “something is going on,”
although she is uncertain regarding what it is. She had a 3.6 GPA through her sophomore year, and had
been active in her interests in geology, geology club, service clubs, and exercise. Former friends with whom
she had been active socially now describe her as “quiet, aloof, uncommunicative, distant, and hard to figure
She reported that her problems began last summer (approximately one year ago) when she decided to spend
the summer at home. She had a job lined up at an exercise center that was providing a “day camp” for
elementary school children. She said that “the stress of all those yelling kids” made her so “nervous” that
she quit her job, leaving her with no summer plans and no discretionary money.
She began spending most of her time at home alone listening to music, or “daydreaming and thinking a
lot”. She became interested in different religious philosophies, which she researched voraciously on the
internet, and rarely left the house, except to go on late night walks. She became focused on “an
interconnectedness” between not only quantum mechanics and general relativity but also what she referred
to as a “meta-inter-intra-connectedness to gods of all religions”. She began to search for mathematical
formulas to support a “meta-string-unification-theory”. She was “cautious” in telling her parents about her
new found knowledge and theories because she felt disconnected from them, and thought at times they were
“faux parenti — after all, you never really know who people are behind their masks”. She described her
parents as nagging at her to get up, bathe, fix her hair, wash her clothes, etc. This prompted her in late
summer to leave for college feeling annoyed, insulted, and alienated from them. She questioned whether
they were really her parents (or “imposters”), or if their bodies had been inhabited and their souls replaced
by “beings from another millennium”.
After returning to college, she was assigned a roommate, Colleen, but quickly decided that she couldn’t be
trusted (and might be an “imposter” as well), and she began sleeping around campus on couches in the
library lounge, student center, or in the women’s locker room at the rec center. She believed that her
roommate could also possibly be a spy sent by her parents, and that the roommate, too, may have had her
“soul stolen”. Sometimes she slept in her car rather than even go to her dorm room. She began keeping a
journal in which she wrote about her preoccupation with “unification theory,” and began to write profusely
in a rambling, incoherent manner with long sequences of illogical sentences and formulas scribbled on the
sides of the pages. Her sleep was erratic. She missed classes, and professors described her as looking
“disheveled, unkempt, and odd”. One faculty member wondered if perhaps she was homeless.
Beth reported receiving “signals” coming from her phone, or from radios, speaker systems, thermostats,
and certain light fixtures, and received cryptic warnings from an undisclosed source. She began sketching
in her journal and described “souls who were doomed to hell”. She worried about many issues over the past
several weeks, but denied feeling sad or depressed. She denied recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, and
did not acknowledge excessive feelings of worthlessness or guilt. She denied symptoms of mania and

exhibited no increase in goal-directed behavior, no inflated self-esteem, no decreased need for sleep, and
no excessive involvement in pleasurable activities. Her speech was not rapid or pressured, but had a laconic
Psychiatric history: Beth was evaluated by a School Psychologist in fifth grade when she became
emotionally withdrawn, had a decline in concentration and grades, and was overly preoccupied with
children’s books and characters who were wizards with supernatural powers. She voraciously read every
book in these series, and talked about them and their powers extensively. She stated a wish to be a part of
“their world”. Rather than pursuing psychological evaluation or therapeutic services as recommended by
school personnel, her parents moved her to a private school.
Family history is positive for maternal post-partum depression. Beth’s mother was “bed-ridden” for the first
month after Beth’s birth, and the maternal grandmother moved into the home to care for Beth until Beth’s
mother recuperated. Reportedly, Beth’s mother experienced significant anxiety and depression for several
months prior to and following Beth’s birth. A maternal aunt who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia
committed suicide. A maternal great-aunt was hospitalized long ago due to a “nervous breakdown.”
Medical history is unremarkable. There is no legal history. There is no history of drug or alcohol use, and
Beth does not smoke.
Mental status exam: Beth presented as a petite and thin female, appearing somewhat older than her
chronological age, who was wearing dirt-stained jeans, a hooded sweatshirt with hood up, and a black wool
winter coat which remained on throughout the evaluation. Her hair appeared oily, fingernails soiled and
chipped, and overall grooming was poor. She demonstrated slight psychomotor agitation and fidgeting.
She had an ambivalent response style, and seemed cautious in her verbalizations. At times, she laughed for
no apparent reason, and appeared to be responding to internal stimuli. Eye contact was minimal. Her speech
was idiosyncratic with very soft volume. Memory appeared intact. Her affect was blunted and flat. She
described her mood as “edgy like gravel”, but declined to elaborate. She denied suicidal or homicidal
ideation. Periodically, she spoke at great length in a vague, rambling, digressive manner which was lacking
in meaningful, goal-directed content. Her thought processes were illogical and incoherent at times. Insight
and judgment appeared poor and impaired.


1 A

DSM-5 Diagnosis: Schizophrenia

1 B

According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis for schizophrenia is carried out if the individual has two or more core signs and symptoms, and one of them should be either disorganized speech, delusions, or hallucinations for at least one month. At home, Beth experienced delusions which are common in most individuals with schizophrenia, specifically here false beliefs about her parents that are not based on reality, thus thinking of them as people who will potentially harass or harm her. She believed that there was a “meta-inter-intra-connectedness to gods of all religions” and that a mathematical formula supporting the theory existed. When Beth is back in college, these symptoms continue, meaning this happened shortly after what she experienced at home. Beth believed that her roommate Collen could not be trusted and was sent by her parents to spy on her and kill her. She also began writing a journal about her unification theory and included illogical formulas and sentences in the sentence. Additionally, hallucination was another symptom occurring besides delusions. At school, Beth believed she had voices that were signals from speaker systems, thermostats, her phone, and some light fixtures where an undisclosed source was warning her……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address: consulttutor10@gmail.com

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