Describe a fictitious client (not a real person) who suffers from one of the mental illnesses you read about this week, and provide a brief description of the various symptoms your fictitious client displays. Your post should also:
- Identify a diagnosis that could possibly fit this client. Provide a clear rationale for the diagnosis based on the symptoms presented.
- Discuss treatment options for your fictitious client, using at least one biological, one psychological, and one social intervention (the biopsychosocial model).
Here is a sample response to get you started:
Joe is a middle-aged 45-year-old Caucasian male. He has been married for 20 years, and has been working at the same job for the past 10 years as an accountant. He is a busy working dad, the father of two children: a 5-year-old daughter (Josie) and a 10-year-old son (Carl). Joe coaches his son Carl’s baseball team, runs about 1-2 miles a day, and plays basketball once a week with his buddies at the local YMCA. Three months ago, Joe’s company had some layoffs, and his job was cut along with 5,000 others due to the economic downturn. Since that time, Joe has been extremely depressed and withdrawn, and he reports that he doesn’t enjoy activities that he used to like running or playing basketball. He turned over his coaching job to the assistant coach of the baseball team and states that he just doesn’t have the energy to do much of anything anymore. Some days, he feels so depressed he stays in bed for the entire day. He adds that he spends most of his time on the couch in his bathrobe watching TV and playing poker online.
These symptoms have persisted for the past three months—pretty much all day, every day. Joe’s wife has since returned to work full-time to help pay the bills, and Joe reports that this makes him feel like a failure. Joe’s children are worried and want to spend time with him, but Joe tends to push them away due to his feelings of sadness and shame for “letting them down.” Overall, Joe is in good health and does not have any other medical conditions or concerns.
As per the DSMIV-TR, it appears that Joe could be diagnosed with major depression due to his symptoms of anhedonia and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and shame lasting for three months.
In terms of treatment, an antidepressant medication may be helpful to assist Joe in getting through this difficult time. A consultation with a psychiatrist would be in order here. This medication would be considered a biological intervention. Additionally, Joe would be recommended to participate in weekly sessions with a cognitive-behavioral therapist to help him overcome his cognitive (feelings of failure and shame) and behavioral (staying in bed, lying around on the couch, etc.) symptoms. This would be considered a psychological intervention. Finally, a focus on changing Joe’s daily routine would be recommended by encouraging the entire family to eat right and exercise. In addition, making sure that Joe gets to spend time with his friends and is given the support that he needs in getting motivated to begin looking for a new position would be important to add. Both of these latter recommendations would fit as a social intervention.