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Diagnosing Mental Illness in the Role of Psychologist/Therapist

Updated on June 18, 2014

I believe that Etta suffers from schizophrenia based on the limited information provided. The video does not provide enough information to reliable diagnose with 100% certainty. I used the 6.2 table from Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders below to show why Etta has schizophrenia.

  1. The videos do not include any information about how long Etta has been experiencing symptoms, but for this assignment I am assuming she has displayed symptoms for most of a one month period. Etta suffers from delusions and hallucinations where she believes that she receives messages from “the eagle” and Jesus. One time she heard dogs barking at night and believed it was a message from Jesus. Etta also shows signs of disorganized speech when she discussed how a clock plays into her delusions and hallucinations; her method of reading the clock does not make any sense. She does not show any clear signs of grossly abnormal psychomotor behavior during the two videos. As far as negative symptoms Etta does show avolition; she shows no signs of motivation for anything besides her messages from Jesus. Etta also shows signs of asociality with how the only thing she talks about are her messages from Jesus, but the video does not include any questions about Etta’s social life so this is just a guess.
  2. The video does not go into Etta’s work life, but I can guess that she suffers from occupational dysfunction. I would assume that her belief of her receiving messages from Jesus from random events like barking dogs would make it almost impossible for Etta to not have problem with a job.
  3. I am unsure if Etta has been showing continuous signs of disturbance during the duration of at least six months.
  4. The video does not provide me with enough information to conclude one way or another if Etta has schizoaffective, depressive, or bipolar disorder, but I will assume that she does not.
  5. The video does not provide enough information to conclude whether Etta’s symptoms are due to substance use disorder or general medical condition.
  6. The video does not provide any information about Etta’s medical history.

As far as treatment for Etta, based on the information provided I would want a complete record of Etta’s medical history to see if she has had any previous experiences with anti-psychotic medication and therapy so as not to prescribe her something that has already been proven to be unhelpful for her. I would also not want to put her in a type of therapy that she had a bad experience with in the past. However, lacking that information, I would prescribe Etta a low level dose of anti-psychotic medication to start and increase the dosage as needed. I would also recommend that Etta be placed in a specialized inpatient treatment center due to the fact that if she receives a message from “the eagle” or Jesus telling her to harm herself or someone else, I feel that she would obey the message.

Ellen is a 28 year old female who is married and lives with her husband. Ellen has been unemployed for over a year due to being unable to get to work. Each time Ellen leaves her house alone she experiences chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a racing heartbeat. Ellen experiences these attacks when she goes to the grocery store alone, when she rides the bus alone, and when she was at work. Ellen says she experiences no symptoms when her husband is present, but for the past year she has been afraid to leave her house without her husband, a close friend, or a family member. Without someone with her when she leaves the house she says she feels nervous and sometimes trapped. Prior to a year ago Ellen states that she never had any trouble going out alone. The one time Ellen went to a hospital after an attack the hospital informed her that there was nothing physically wrong with her.


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    • AdlerD profile image

      AdlerD 3 years ago

      I would not have guess what they were going thru. I guess that's because i am not trained.


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