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Discuss Symptoms, Etiologies and Diagnosis of DSM



Case Study


Develop a case study (based on an actual individual or a hypothetical individual). Provide a DSM diagnosis, a thorough description of symptoms, discussion of etiologies, and offer appropriate suggestions for treatment (6-10 pages, typewritten and double-spaced)


Guidelines for Case Study:

  • Choose a person that seems to fit at least one of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for a disorder such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder etc. Do Not expect an individual to fit the category exactly.
  • Obtain written consent from the individual to do this project and include a copy of the form with your paper. Be sure to use initials or a pseudonym to protect anonymity and confidentiality at all times. Sample permission forms will be discussed in class.
  • Provide descriptive characteristics of the individual such as marital status, number of children, age, occupation, SES, etc.
  • Give historical background information and possible etiologies (causes) of the illness which may include family history, biological factors, inherited conditions, physical factors, traumatic events
  • Discuss the progress and pattern of the disorder including when symptoms first appeared, precipitating events/factors, description of symptoms (vegetative signs, thoughts), and be clear on how symptoms impair academic, occupational and interpersonal functioning.
  • Provide the diagnosis and SUBSTANTIATE your reasons for selecting the diagnosis based on course material (textbook,lectures, DSM). Explain how symptoms of the disorder match the symptoms of your patient. THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP in the process-do not leave this out!
  • Give possible treatment techniques and explain the reasons for your choices. You may want to recommend medications (be specific on type of medicine and remember this CANNOT be your only form of treatment), psychotherapy (be specific on humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, etc. approaches) as well as format- individual, group and/or family therapy and consider outside organizations such as AA, ACOA, Parents Without Partners, etc.
  • Provide references using APA format. You will need at least 1 reference- the textbook OR the DSM-5, for your citation of symptoms, treatments, etc.
  • You may not use case studies or subjects from other classes.
  • Sample case studies will be provided for your review. I will be happy to review drafts 2 weeks in advance of the due date (see date on syllabus). Please see me if you have any questions or concerns.



























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Category: Sample Questions