Diagnosis Practice Activity #1

Please refer to your class notes and textbook to diagnose the people in the stories that follow.  Be sure to provide a diagnosis and also your justification for making this diagnosis.


Ex:  Marianne is a 34-year-old female showing signs of disorganized thought & flat affect.   She says that she hears voices telling her to do things.  She believes that her behavior is being controlled by other people that she thinks that all her former friends have formed a conspiracy and are out to get her. 


Diagnosis & Justification:  Marianne seems to be developing schizophrenia. She is experiencing thought & emotional problems.  She is experiencing paranoid delusions and delusions of persecution. She believes that other people are trying to control her.  She also thinks that other people are trying to hurt her.


When asked to provide the d/o & the general class, please provide this along with your justification.  Ex:  OCD is an Anxiety D/o.


1.  Murray worries all the time, about everything.  It seems like his constant worries have really impaired his ability to perform at work and at school.  Although he has tried many things to calm his nerves, Murray is always nervous, even at night when he tries to go to sleep.  He's always so tense.  Please provide the name of the disorder and the general class in the DMS-IV-TR to which it belongs.


2.  Despite the fact that Ahmed has always been a good student and enjoyed school, lately his grades have begun to drop.  Ahmed just doesn't have the energy or interest to devote to schoolwork anymore.  He complains that he just can't concentrate on assignments anymore.  In fact, he no longer enjoys most of the things that he used to do.  "I just don't feel like doing them.  They're not much fun," he says.


3.   Jolie covered her windows in black wallpaper.  She has done this to stop the people she believes are watching her.  She has also begun to wear a large hat because she believes this will hinder people's ability to read her mind.  She has booby-trapped her apartment to catch the government spies that she believes are coming to get her.  Please be specific in your diagnosis - include the d/o & subtype.


4.  After the tornado struck town, Luis became very upset.  Every time he went to sleep he had nightmares about the destructive twister.  During the day, Luis couldn't concentrate on his work because he kept thinking about the tornado.  Walking down the street & seeing all the destroyed buildings made him very anxious & upset.  He didn't even like hearing the word "tornado" on The Weather Channel.  While his symptoms were initially crippling, they disappeared in about three & a half weeks.  Please provide the name of the disorder and the general class in the DMS-IV-TR to which it belongs.


5.  Harry was driving his car on a calm & peaceful day when he suddenly began to feel his heart pounding & noticed his thoughts racing.  He was terrified because this wasn't the first time he had experienced one of these episodes.  During the last episode, he began to sweat profusely & have trouble breathing.  Harry can't seem to figure out what brings these episodes on.


6.  Lately Ivanka is always on the go.  She's started up many big new, expensive projects for a home business that she is financing all alone. Despite the fact that she's feeling so great about herself and her business, she just keeps squandering her money on foolish investments.  Lately it seems that her judgment is becoming more and more clouded and she is becoming more and more irritable.  At these times she also seems to need almost no sleep.  Please provide the name of the disorder and the general class in the DMS-IV-TR to which it belongs.


7.  All of the laundry and dishes at Susie's house just keep piling up.  Because she barely has the energy to get off the couch she can't even consider trying to get the housework done.  She cries all the time because she feels like such a failure.  "I'll never be able to amount to anything," she thinks.  "I can't even take care of my own chores."  She just feels so worthless & guilty.


8.  Bart worries constantly about being infected with germs or being dirty.  As a result of these worries, Bart has developed a routine that he goes through three times every day.  He scrubs his counter tops and floors.  After that, he showers with soap and a very weak solution of bleach and water.  Because his routine takes so long to perform, Bart often runs late for work and social events.  Please provide the name of the disorder and the general class in the DMS-IV-TR to which it belongs.


9.  Marisol's behavior has become very strange over the last few months.  She doesn't speak much to her friends & she has stopped going to work.  When she does speak, it often does not make sense - it's like she's speaking her own language.  It makes sense to her, but to everyone else, it sounds like gibberish.  Marisol seems to have a hard time just doing the "basics" like taking a shower & making something to eat.  She also laughs at the inappropriate time.  The other day when she found out that she'd been fired, she started laughing hysterically! Please be specific in your diagnosis - include the d/o & subtype.


10.  Shawn has been very sick lately, but he refuses to go to the doctor.  He gets so worked up just thinking about a visit to the doctor's office that it makes him vomit!  His family is really concerned about him - he just keeps getting sicker.  However, Shawn refuses to go.  He keeps making up all sorts of excuses to keep him away from the doctor's office.  His family is really confused - Shawn used to routinely go to places where medical procedures took place, like the dentist's office.  Lately, though, he just seems to afraid to go.


Food for thought:  Did you give two different people the same diagnosis?  How were their symptoms the same? Different?  Keep in mind that the same disorder can look very different in different people.